U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Martha McSally made good on her promise to keep the Air Force from mothballing the A-10 warthog, “a fixture at Davis-Monthan Air Force base in Tucson for over 40 years.”

During a Senate Armed Services Committee meeting yesterday on this year’s annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), McSally inserted language that prohibits the Secretary of Defense from divesting or retiring any A-10 aircraft. She also required the Secretary of the Air Force to brief Congress on the required A-10 fleet size and validate the assumptions used to justify any future A-10 fleet size reductions.  

“I flew 325 hours in combat in the A-10 and commanded the one deployable A-10 squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, so I know the unique capabilities that the A-10 brings to save American lives on the battlefield,” said McSally. “I stopped them from mothballing the A-10 when I first came to the House and did it again this year in the Senate. I authored this provision in this Senate defense bill and had it successfully adopted by the committee to save the A-10, again.”

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 June 11, 2020, Sen. McSally announced key wins she secured in the FY2021 annual defense bill that the Senate Armed Services Committee voted out of committee, including preventing cuts to the A-10 fleet.
  • On May 7, 2020, Sen. McSally pressed the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Chief of Staff nominee, General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., on the future of the A-10 Warthog fleet.
  • 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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