Feb 26, 2015
US Army Not Interested in Taking A-10 from USAF
The service’s top civilian, Army Secretary John McHugh, rejected the idea of accepting hand-me-down A-10 Warthogs from the Air Force.
Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James defended the service’s renewed budget proposal to begin retiring its fleet of almost 300 Warthogs — even as pilots fly the gunship in the Middle East to attack militants affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Over the past decade-plus of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, James said, “the A-10 has done a magnificent job, but so has the F-16 and the F-15E, and the B-1 bomber has been a contributor and there have been a number of aircraft that have contributed to the totality of close-air support. So to me, close-air support is not a plane, it’s a mission.”
If lawmakers approve the Air Force’s budget request for fiscal 2016, which begins Oct. 1, the service would divest the A-10 over a period of five years and save an estimated $4 billion during that period.
Congress blocked the service’s previous budget request to retire the aircraft, but allowed it to move as many 36 of the planes to back-up status. The shift will free up more maintainers to work on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.