Air Force officials admit A-10 fleet on chopping block
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A fleet of jets known for taking down threats now facing a real threat of its own. The enemy? Budget cuts.
"It's a very real threat that they will recommend to the Secretary of Defense and to the President to cut the A-10 completely," said retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally.
Mixed messages out of Washington fueling those concerns and the uncertainty. Yesterday, Senator Kelly Ayotte a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, questioned the 2015 POM, which divests the A-10. Air Force officials admitted that the A-10′s complete divestiture is on the table.
Without A-10's or F-35's at the base, McSally believes Davis-Monthan could be vulnerable to closure and that could have dramatic impact locally. DM is Tucson's third largest employer. The base creates $1.6 billion of economic impact.
"If we pull the plug out on something this significant," said McSally. "That could have devastating impacts on our community that could be very difficult to recover from."
Congressman Barber released a copy of a letter he wrote to the Secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force Chief of Staff imploring them not to divest the Air Force of the A-10. A full copy of the letter is linked under Related Documents on this page.
The Air Force will hand over its recommendations to the Secreteary of Defense by September 23rd. A final decision is expected in February of 2014.