Warthog fans rally after Flake revelation

warthogA nationwide effort has begun to save the Air Force’s A-10 after Arizona Senator Jeff Flake revealed on a Tucson radio show that plans were in place to mothball the craft. Boots on the ground have joined A-10 pilots and crews to save the plane that has frequently saved them.

Fans of the A-10 warthog are circulating a petition in hopes of gathering 100,000 signatures by September 16. Facebook groups Stand for Protecting Heroes, Keep the A10 in the U.S. Military, and Save the A-10 deployed rapidly in defense of the plane that offers them their best chance of survival in war.

Flake, on a brief visit to Arizona during the Congressional summer recess, was asked if he would confirm reports that the A-10 was going to be retired. Flake responded that the A-10 would be retired but held out the promise of the F-35 as a viable substitute.

Flake’s candor shocked the radio audience, many of whom work at the nearby Davis Monthan Air Force Base, which is home to the Warthog. The admission sent shockwaves throughout Arizona and rippled out to the warrior community over the weekend.

Seasoned pilots questioned the viability of the F-35 which, at this point, is only theoretical due to cost overruns and serious technical short comings.

The Save the A-10 Thunderbolt II from retirement due to budget cuts petition (sign here) asks signers to “Tell the Obama administration to reconsider the retirement of the A-10 attack aircraft. There is no available replacement currently in the Department of Defense. Lives will be lost overseas without this aircraft.”

The Facebook pages are full of Warthog fans who share their experiences with The Hog. One woman posted, “My husband saved a few of our men while flying this plane…..KEEP OUR A-10!” Another wrote, “have not heard of anything we have in the air that can support our ground troops the way an A-10 Hog can. We are ran now by Dumb and DUMBER!”

Davis Monthan Air Force Base became an economic stalwart for the community of Tucson ever since a progressive congressman called for a boycott of his own state in protest of the state’s immigration laws. Tucson, now the sixth poorest metropolitan area in the country, has come to rely on the A-10 as desperately as the warriors on the ground. The base has come under attack by progressives who prefer the very low skill, low paying tourism jobs that Grijalva’s boycott wiped out.

Flake’s revelation began calls for action to save the plane and the base that hosts it.

Luke Air Force Base, in Phoenix, won the nod by the powers-that-be to become the home of the F-35 just this last year.

According to AirForceTechnology.com: “The A-10 Thunderbolt is also known as the Warthog, the ‘flying gun’ and the Tankbuster. The aircraft was used extensively during Operation Desert Storm, in support of Nato (sic) operations in response to the Kosovo crisis, in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The A-10 is a high-survivability and versatile aircraft, popular with pilots for the ‘get home’ effectiveness.”

Related articles:

Flake drops A-10 bomb on constituents

Flake hopes to clarify A-10 issue

28 Comments

  1. When nay sayers of the A-10 cite survivability, they should consider the threat level in which Close Air Support will be provided. Fifth generation aircraft (F-22/F-35/B-2) have their place to kick in the door. I highly doubt the US Army/USMC plan to march troops into and under the umbrella of advanced enemy SAMs. The CAS fight inherently occurs in a contested area. One which the A-10 can operate effectively with sound tactics. The arguement against A-10 survivability in an increased threat environment isn’t sound.

    If you say there’s not enough money and we have to make hard choices fine, but let’s not pretend the F-35 will fill the void left by the A-10. It won’t.

    As I heard one F-35 specialist said in response to how well will the F-35 do CAS? The answer was, “Well, that all depends on what your definition of CAS is.” I’m pretty sure the guys on the ground only have one definition, and it’s the one that counts.

  2. It’s very sad to see old gals like the A-10s and the F-16s retire but I guess we have to at least take comfort knowing that her replacement, the highly advanced F-35 Lightning II has proven itself an extremely capable plane in air to ground roles as well as air to air combat and proven early critics wrong.

    The F-35A has outclass the F-16Cs in maneuverability and instantaneous and sustained high-g performance, has better payload, range on internal fuel, avionics, operational effectiveness, supportability, and survivability and stealth. I think no one can argue that the F-35 will no doubt be the premier 5th Generation stealth airplane of the United States Armed Forces and her allies for the next 25 years and more.

    The F-35 has passed every single evaluation and tests with flying colors and initial low rate production aircrafts will soon be deployed to active units.

    The F-35As will be replacing the venerable F-16s and soon the A-10s while the F-35Bs and Cs will be replacing the Harriers and older less capable F/A-18 Hornets of the Marines and Navy.

    Having a standard platform across all services will also save the US taxpayers a lot of money over the course of the lifetime and as production ramps up, per unit cost will also go down.

  3. Sorry but negative.. yes A-10s can carry heavier payload, have that meanass 30mm cannon and can take rounds from an AK-47 fired by some lucky farmer on the ground HOWEVER you guys are thinking of your grandfathers wars. Not every war the US will engage in the the future will be against poorly armed and poorly trained teenagers.
    The F-35 can engaged both sophisticated adversaries AND lesser armed ones whereas the A-10 can’t! PERIOD! The F-35 have RCS of a gollfball, has EODAS, high off boresight capabilities and network centric capabilities to mention just a few all of which the A-10 do not have even with upgrades etc.
    The Bravo version are STOVL capable and Charlie can launch off carriers.. again the A-10 is strictly land base only.
    I’m afraid if I’m a Marine taking fire from enemy positions and they have sophiticated SAMs, AAAs etc… I better pray my rescue bird is a bunch of F-35s because if I’m waiting for that A-10, he will never make it.

  4. The A-10 is designed to be flown in theaters with USAF air supremacy. The A-10C is the best airframe for keeping troops on the the ground covered. I have seen that plane take a SAM through the #2 engine and keep flying.(Talil AB 2003), fly through hail storm that pounded every surface and required complete replacement of all leading edges which we replaced in country and had back in the air in 7, that’s SEVEN, days!!! (Bagram AB 2008)

    To the knucklehead who wants to compare the A-10 to the P-51, you need to do a little research prior to posting your moronic comments.

    And just so you know I just retired from 20 yrs with the 442d FW, WAFB Mo home of the KC Hawgs.

  5. The F-35/JSF is going to go on full scale production soon and I have no problem with it replacing the A-10s, Vipers etc which is what the plan was anyway in CAS, A2G type missions

    I know these great planes have sentimental values to many however people need to let go of things otherwise we would still be flying the P-51s today. very good plane but not by current standards.

    I mean would you fly a P-51 against a MiG 29? NO! so why would you fly an A-10 in some future battlefield with comprehensive C4ISR environment and sophisticated 5th generation planes and SAMs? ..the Marines on the ground will be begging for J-35s dropping JDAMs and SDBs on the enemy position because the A-10 would’ve long been blown out of the sky.. no offense to the Warthog.

    • You are out of your mind. The F-35 is going to be an all around, unbelievably expensive failure. It is not a plane that will have any capability as an air-to-ground platform. It is not an ‘all-weather’ craft, if only ha provisions for a very limited amount of weapons (no external hard points) and doesnt have the flight profile needed to deliver huge amounts of ordinance at a speed that is useful for ground support. JDAMs are almost completely and entirely useless for ground support as well, being primarily weapons used against stationary targets, not the kind of moving targets you find in the battlefield environment. 1 A-10 can carry more armaments than an entire squadron of F-35s configured for air-to ground. Additionally, F-35’s cant carry cluster munitions or a wide variety of guided munitions (Maverick missiles) that the A-10 was specifically designed to accommodate. Furthermore, 1 A-10 is only a fraction of the cost of an F-35, literally an order of magnitude in cost difference.

      The F-35 is another example of the Air Force pushing its own agenda without any regard to the roles they need to fulfill in a dynamic combat environment. They dont want bomb trucks, they dont want drones, they want the newest, flashiest most expensive aircraft to ever be made so they can go play ‘Top Gun’ and fantasize about air to air combat.

      The A-10 is one of the best, purpose built airframes in military history and in trying to do everything, the F-35 will prove to be one of the worst.

      You dont know shit about ground combat or air support if you think the F-35 is a sufficient replacement for the A-10.

      Have a great day!

      • While I agree the F-35 (known in some circles as the “Pigeon”, and not in a complementary manner) is no replacement for the ‘Hog, there is one part where your post is in error, 12:40pm Anon: The A-10 isn’t “all-weather” either. There was a 2-seat variant proposed for night/adverse weather, but it didn’t make it past the prototype stage (modded from an A-10A).

        • Actually, the A-10 IS “all weather” is is often found in Afghanistan flying when everything else is grounded.

    • A-10s drop JDAMs, and have a 30MM gun with 10x the bullets, and 10x the impact force of the F-35 20MM…and A-10 can take ground fire..and A-10s have 5th gen avionics…so no offense taken, you just don’t know what you are talking about.

    • the F-35 is not near “Production” they’re still tinkering with lots of it, from general upkeep to cost, who’s going to really buy it and fly it and what models – the Vertical Take Off model has huge issues – has not dropped a bomb yet – the heads up display and software is still ‘theory’ with the pilots training on ‘virtual concept’ capabilities and software that – does not yet exist – and this is how they are training to fly it. Japan may or may not, as the same for the British – NATO IS DEAD!!! Turkey is not NATO – its now closer to a “Muslim Brotherhood nation” than a NATO nation – remember they already denied us with access when we entered Iraq, they turned around our entire 1st Division and forced them to go around to Kuwait to enter the war – this could have cost us many lost troops – they didn’t seem to mind this ….. that was the end of NATO as we can expect from Turkey – it’ll never be back. Give them F-35’s NO WAY! Still lots of issues with the F-35 with only one active wing in Florida – and lots of questions….

  6. After the A-10 Thunderbolt Warhog leaves DMAF: TUCSON, ARIZONA! The country’s best-preserved Ghost Town!

  7. “Tucson, now the sixth poorest metropolitan area in the country, has come to rely on the A-10 as desperately as the warriors on the ground. The base has come under attack by progressives who prefer the very low skill, low paying tourism jobs that Grijalva’s boycott wiped out.”

    Same ol’ Grijalva. If he isn’t boycotting Arizona, he’s usually “out there” working on his Aztlan propaganda.

  8. Don’t fix something that is not broke. Just to create a problem you can then come in and say hey we don’t have a viable attack plane anymore we need to buy 100 billion dollars worth of F35’s that are untested and have not been combat vet’ed.

    • Really, all planes are tested before becoming operational. Also, how can a plane be “vetted” for combat until they become operational

  9. The Industrial Military Complex wants to retire this perfectly functional airplane, so they can sell the taxpayers millions of dollars worth of new planes.

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