U.S. Rep. McSally Statement on A-10 Retirement Delay
TUCSON – U.S. Representative Martha McSally today responded to Air Force General Herbert Carlisle’s reported statements about a delay in the Administration’s plans to retire our full A-10 fleet ahead of schedule.
“This is the Administration’s same ploy only in a different disguise to whittle away at a critical capability. Over the last 3 years, the Administration has already mothballed the equivalent of 4 A-10 squadrons, leaving us with only 9 to carry out the critical missions for which the A-10 is best suited.”
“As it has always been, the plan to retire the A-10 ahead of schedule is irresponsible and reckless. No plane in our inventory or under development can match the A-10’s unique capabilities to provide Close Air Support – capabilities that are in increasing demand. A-10s are now deployed in the fight against ISIS, in Europe to deter Russian aggression, and along the border with North Korea. We just invested over $1 billion to keep this asset flying until 2028. Until there’s a suitable replacement, we absolutely need to keep this life-saving capability in the air.”
As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. McSally has worked since taking office to expose the capabilities gap that would occur if the A-10 were retired without a replacement. In an April hearing, Department of Defense officials conceded to her that the F-35 would not be as survivable as the A-10 in certain Close Air Support scenarios. The following day, the commander of U.S. Forces in Korea stated to Rep. McSally that retiring the plan would leave a gap in the military’s ability to take out enemy tanks from the air.
In June, the Government Accountability Office released a report citing critical flaws in the Administration’s justification for retiring the A-10 Warthog and highlighted the capabilities gaps that would occur.