The Air Force has rescinded a memo it sent to Congress warning of the dangers of retiring the A-10, saying it needed to be re-evaluated.
The Air Force was particularly concerned about a warning in the memo that said keeping the A-10 would delay the initial operating capability of the F-35.
The talking points sheet, first obtained Tuesday by Air Force Times, warned Congress that if it kept the A-10 in the service's fleet, the Air Force would not have enough maintainers to work on the F-35. The Air Force also warned that keeping the A-10 would not allow the service to move F-16s out of Hill Air Force Base, Utah, to units that are currently flying the Warthog. This meant the service would need to retire F-16s.
The Air Force briefed Congress on these issues earlier this week, saying that the F-35 impacts and F-16 moves were possible courses of action based on keeping the A-10. The moves were not confirmed actions, at least not yet, according to the Air Force.
However, a congressional source on Wednesday told Air Force Times that the Air Force reached out to the House Armed Services Committee to rescind the information on the same day the committee was marking up the fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act.
The debate on the bill, which was expected to last late into Wednesday evening, will include competing amendments to either protect the entire A-10 fleet or allow the Air Force to retire about half. The Air Force's warning this week was meant to inform the members for their amendment votes, until it was rescinded today.
The Air Force is attempting to retire its Warthog fleet again, a move that has met resistance in both the House and the Senate.
House Armed Services Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, has fully funded the aircraft in his markup of the defense bill, and multiple senators have vowed to keep the aircraft flying.