House passes NDAA, A-10 survives the battle

A-10 Thunderbolt IIs ares lined up on the flightline of Tallil Air Base in southern Iraq awaiting pilots. The aircraft are part of the 442nd Fighter Wing from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., which was deployed to Talli and Kirkuk Air Bases in 2003. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Terry L. Blevins)

The provision to protect the A-10 from divestment has passed the House and a key Senate committee. The House voted 325-to-98 to pass the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes the amendment to continue funding the A-10.

The amendment was proposed by Arizona Congressman Ron Barber. “Southern Arizona is home to Fort Huachuca, the 162nd Wing of the Air National Guard and a strong defense industry – all of which are vital to our nation’s security,” said Barber on the House floor. We are also the proud home of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and the A-10 Thunderbolt. This heavily armed plane we call the Warthog may be ugly, but it flies slow and low and provides close air support and protection to our troops like no other aircraft we have today.”

Arizona representatives Paul Gosar, Ed Pastor, and Raul Grijalva voted against the bill.

Gosar released a statement explaining that he voted against the NDAA bill in protest of the fact that important provisions that would have protected the rights and freedoms of U.S. citizens were not included in the bill. Gosar said that he was concerned that the bill ultimately failed to include language that would have protected American citizens against indefinite detention. He also was not pleased that two amendments that would have prevented the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans’ private information weren’t even allowed a vote. Gosar believed that the need for a vote on these two amendments was “even more important” after the House passed a “watered-down” version of the USA FREEDOM Act.

There already is strong bipartisan support in the Senate for protecting the plane and its mission.

According to Austin Wright writing for Politico, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin says his panel had finished marking up its version of the fiscal 2015 National Defense Authorization Act. Later, the Committee passed an amendment which strictly prohibits the Air Force from retiring the A-10.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh and Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James have fought mothball the low and slow flying Warthog, which has saved the lives of so many troops on the ground.

This week, the AZDI came into possession a copy of a slide prepared for the Air Force, which shows that the Air Force has been less than honest about the A-10.


This slide, which was briefed by staffers within the USAF, tells a very different story than what the Generals are trying to sell. The slide verifies that the A-10 is cheapest by far to operate. Meaning taxpayers get more combat missions per mission dollars than any other USAF fighter aircraft.

The slide also highlights the fact that the A-10s in combat have flown 33% of all the combat missions from 2000 to 2013, contrary to claims made by the Air Force.

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