The A-10 has been designated for retirement in the Pentagon’s quest to downsize. (Not for the first time, either.) According to the plans under review, those few hundred copies still in service will be decommissioned and, presumably, shipped of to some boneyard. Or, perhaps, cut up for scrap. Whatever the fate of the planes, themselves, their mission of close air support of ground troops will not soon go away. Which has led to a campaign to save the A-10 by those who believe in the plane and even love it, in spite of (or, perhaps, because of) its looks and its name – Warthog.
Some A-10 advocates believe that its ungainly lines are repellant to elements in the Air Force that believe an airplane should look, by God, like an airplane. Like an F-16 or the next-generation F-35. Comparing the A-10 to these is like lining a garbage truck up against a Ferrari. But looks aren’t everything and elements in the Air Force that want to see the A-10 retired argue that they have nothing to do with the plan to retire the bird. That other planes can do the close-air support job, and others as well. And that the Air Force both needs new planes and must get by on fewer planes.
Congress, however, is concerned. As Christopher Harress of IBT reports
The A-10 retirement has been met with protest from lawmakers, who believe the A-10 could have continued until 2028 and still offers a cost-effective option for the Air National Guard. If it is retired, the first base hit would be Idaho’s Air National Guard, which will move to using F-15E aircrafts instead.
Additional A-10 cuts will see Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.; Moody Air Force Base, Ga.; Osan Air Base, South Korea and Egin Air Force Base, Fla., giving up the aircraft.
Let’s see. Idaho, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, and Korea.
Is Korea a red state or a blue state?