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Air Force plans to retire A-10s by 2019 as fight to save them continues

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Air Force plans to retire A-10s by 2019 as fight to save them continues

By Justin Schecker. CREATED Mar 11, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The Air Force has released how it plans to operate on a tighter budget. Adjustments nationwide include the retirement schedule for the A-10s.

Davis-Monthan AFB would lose 55 A-10s in 2015-2016 and the rest would be phased out by 2019, according to the Air Force.
 
Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ) calls this proposal foolish and irresponsible. 
 
"We've spent $1.1 billion keeping this aircraft flying for another 15-20 years," Barber said in a conference call with the media. He added the investment included improving the plane's electronics and wings. 
 
In December 2013, Congress delayed the divestment of the A-10s by passing a mandate preventing the Pentagon from taking any action to retire them in 2014.
 
Barber says the A-10s remain vital to our national security and he hopes his colleagues on in Congress will pass similar legislation this year. A coalition of 31 bi-partisan lawmakers in both chambers are opposed to the current proposal to cut the A-10s, Barber said.
 
"To divest ourselves of the best close air support fighter we have is a big mistake," Barber said.
 
The Pima County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution voicing their support for saving the A-10s.  
 
"The A-10 is not replaceable at this time," Pima County District 4 Supervisor Ray Carroll told 9 On Your Side.  
 
But if efforts to keep the Warthogs flying fail, Carroll says the supervisors would welcome other missions at Davis-Monthan.  
 
"It is a very viable base," Carroll said, "our conditions are perfect. Our history has been of support from the community."
 
The Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force are scheduled to appear at a House Armed Services Committee defense budget hearing this Friday morning.
Justin Schecker

Justin Schecker

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Justin Schecker reports for KGUN 9 ON Your Side at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00. He joined KGUN9 in September of 2012 and spent his first year in Tucson covering overnight breaking news for Good Morning Tucson.