At a Senate Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee hearing today, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) highlighted feedback she heard last weekend from U.S. Special Forces personnel in Afghanistan who credited the A-10’s capabilities as being critical in close-contact settings with enemy forces. Ayotte met with U.S. service members in Afghanistan during a congressional delegation mission last weekend.
“The feedback I was getting repeatedly on the ground from the guys that are really taking the fire every day for us, was that this airframe is important,” said Ayotte, who serves as Ranking Member of the Readiness Subcommittee.
General John Campbell, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, who has commanded troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and also commanded the 101st Airborne Division, also praised the airframe during his testimony today.
“Commanding the 101st in RC-East [in Afghanistan] we had A-10 capability come in and provide close air support to our soldiers in very bad terrain. What I think the soldiers on the ground, both the special operators and conventional forces, would tell you it’s a game changer,” he said. “It’s ugly, it’s loud, but when it comes in…it just makes a difference, and so it would be a game changer.”
Senator Ayotte has led the fight against the Pentagon’s plan to prematurely retire the A-10 before a replacement aircraft achieves full operational capability, which would create a close air support capability gap that could endanger the lives of our troops in future conflicts.
Friday, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake is sending a member of his staff to meet with the public at 10:00 a.m. at the Tubac Library, A-10 supporters are encouraging the public to attend and demand that the senator co-sponsor Ayotte’s legislation that protects the A-10 from the planned mothballing by the Air Force.
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