FB: Keep the Warthog. More lawmakers are coming forward to support the beloved A-10, oppose the Air Force's plans.
More lawmakers in both the House and Senate More supporters of the A-10 are coming forward to urge support for the A-10 attack aircraft, which the Air Force is trying to retire. on Capitol Hill, with Michigan senators urging support for the aircraft and a base in their home state, and a team of representatives calling on other lawmakers to protect the aircraft in funding bills.
Michigan Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters today sent a letter Monday to the leaders of the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee urging them to fully fund the A-10, and protect the state's Selfridge Air National Guard Base. The base, under Air Force plans, the base would receive eight additional KC-135s to replace its Warthogs.
"Given the United States' current military engagements in the Middle East fighting against ISIS, and protecting NATO countries in Eastern Europe, the aircraft program must be continued until a suitable alternative is in place," the senators wrote. "We oppose efforts to cut the A-10 program piece by piece so that it cannot complete its missions."
On March 25, 18 representatives sent a similar letter to House Appropriations defense subcommittee leaders pressing them to protect the A-10. The group, led by former A-10 pilot Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., reiterates the A-10's ability to provide close air support and its current operation against the Islamic State group.
The Air Force has recently spent more than $1 billion to upgrade the A-10 and extend its lifespan until 2028, but the service is still pushing to cut its fleet, the letter reads.
"This divestiture, particularly because of a lack of a similarly-capable replacement platform, puts Americans' lives at risk," the letter states. "We recognize the challenges imposed by the Budget Control Act, but we believe that now is not the time to divest an aircraft that has demonstrated success in combat for decades and has saved lives, especially at a time when there is no suitable replacement."