Warthog fans rally after Flake revelation

An A-10 Thunderbolt II from the 74th Fighter Squadron at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia flies over Afghanistan in this 2011 photo.

A 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.”

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