McSally Gets Air Force Secretary on Public Record for First Time on Keeping the A-10 Fleet “At Least Until 2030”
Washington, D.C.—In a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, U.S. Representative McSally questioned Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson on details of the Air Force’s plan to keep the A-10 in the operational fleet for the next decade or more.
“Two years ago, we sat in a similar hearing with previous Air Force leadership arguing strongly about the need to keep the A-10 Warthog. We won. Since then, the A-10 has been pivotal ‘schwacking’ ISIS, deployed to the European defense, been ready south of the DMZ, and have now been sent back to Afghanistan,” said Congresswoman McSally.
Congresswoman McSally thanked the Secretary for Air Force’s commitments to re-wing the remaining A-10s but expressed concern regarding conflicting statements by certain Air Force officials on the status of the A-10’s future. “There’ve been some reports that divestment will still commence in a few years, and other public statements saying it will fly well into the 2030’s and beyond. So can you state for the record how long you plan to have the A-10 in the inventory?”
In response to Rep. McSally’s question, Secretary Wilson stated that the Air Forces “expect[s] the A-10 to continue flying at least until 2030.” This is the first time that any Air Force Secretary has gone on the record publically to support keeping the A-10 fleet operational into the 2030’s.
A former A-10 fighter pilot, Congresswoman McSally was the driving force behind convincing the Air Force to take the A-10 out of “mothball status” in 2015 and 2016. Since securing the future of the current fleet, Rep. McSally has continued to fight to modernize the fleet by ensuring that Congress provides funds to re-wing the remaining A-10’s that need new wings in order to keep the entire fleet in the air and in the fight through 2030 and beyond. Rep. McSally was instrumental in getting $103 million to restart the production line for new A-10 wings and will include enough funding for about four more re-wings on top of the 170-plus that are already re-winged. The FY19 budget request includes $80 million for the next trance of new wings.