U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) today pressed the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Chief of Staff nominee on the future of the A-10 Warthog fleet.

During a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to consider Defense Department nominations, McSally reminded USAF Chief of Staff nominee, General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., of legal requirements she crafted in the Fiscal Year 2017 defense bill prohibiting the USAF from retiring even one A-10 aircraft until a series of reports were submitted to Congress.

McSally is in ongoing discussions with USAF leadership following the release of their FY 2021 budget proposal, which would prematurely phase out 44 A-10s.

     Click HERE or above to watch McSally’s questioning.

    “Are you aware of the requirements we’ve had in the NDAA in the past related to this [retiring an A-10]?” McSally asked.

    U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff nominee, General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., said: “I’m somewhat aware. In my preparation, I’ve been made aware in a little more detail.”

    “Ok, great. I was concerned that the proposal for this next year’s budget included phasing out some number of the A-10s without any regard to those requirements we had in there where we clearly said you can’t plan to retire one more A-10 until these things have happened and these things have not happened yet. So we’re in ongoing discussions with your leadership and, should you be confirmed, this is something we are going to be engaging with you on,” McSally said.

    Background:

    • Since coming to Congress, McSally has led the effort to reverse the Air Force’s decision to retire the A-10 and keep the fleet flying.
    • On March 3, 2020, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein credited Sen. McSally with saving the A-10 attack jet from retirement.
    • On December 19, 2019, Sen. McSally secured several wins for Arizona in the appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2020 including full funding for the A-10 fleet.
    • On August 23, 2019, Sen. McSally announced that in response to her direct efforts, the Air Force has awarded a new contract to replace wings on over 100 A-10’s.
    • Since 2015, she has secured over $347 million to revitalize the A-10 re-wing effort and personally drafted provisions in multiple defense authorization bills that have led the Air Force to reverse its position, including a fly-off between the A-10 and the F-35, the Air Force’s newest fifth generation fighter jet, to showcase the A-10’s ability to out-perform other platforms in specific combat scenarios such as close air support and combat search and rescue missions.
    • In 2018, in response to questioning by then-Rep. McSally during an Armed Services Committee hearing, then-Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson said publicly for the first time that the Air Force now plans to fly the A-10 fleet “well into the 2030’s.”
    • In 2017, the Pentagon proposed zero cuts to the A-10 fleet thanks to Rep. McSally’s advocacy.
    • In 2016, Rep. McSally crafted language in the FY 2017 defense bill that prohibits the Air Force from retiring even one A-10 aircraft until a series of reports were submitted to Congress.
    • In 2015, Rep. McSally and Sen. John McCain successfully defended the A-10 fleet in the Fiscal Year 2016 defense bill.

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