Retired Lt. Colonel Tom Norris appeared on the James T Harris Show on Tucson’s 104.1KQTH, to update area residents on the status of the A-10 Warthog, on Thursday. While Norris sees an opportunity to save the A-10, he told Harris’s audience that the Senate needs to act to avoid divestment at the end of the year.
“What is going on in the Senate right now is the National Defense Authorization act went through the senate appropriations committee and was overwhelmingly approved and now we are waiting on a full Senate vote…” said Norris. “Senator Reid is filling the tree or the Senate schedule with a bunch of other items other than this NDAA for fiscal 2015. With the coming holidays, coming with Thanksgiving and Christmas it could very easily push up right against the December 31st cut offs, and in my opinion if the midnight occurs on January 1st the Air Force is going to pull the trigger and start to close A-10 squadrons like you read about.”
“Harry Reid controls what goes on in the Senate. The other Senators have very little of a say and what goes on in the floor,” Norris added. Norris believes that the lack of A-10 support planes in Afghanistan is purposeful Air Force strategy and that it is hurting those who serve.
Norris said that the switch to the B1 is costing American lives, “We have 5 young men ranging in ages from 19 to 28 that are dead today because of communication and execution breakdowns during close air support. The next thing the people needs to know is that if the A-10 from the attack community were executing close air support in my opinion this mishap would have never happened. The third thing is that after reading the 2 sections of the report and each section is a little over 140 pages, if this report was briefed to the families of the fallen they do not know the truth. That is three big takeaways for me.”
With the A-10 funding stalling in the U.S. senate Norris is urging people to contact their senators and demand action on the item. If nothing proceeds the A-10 could be automatically diverted at the end of the year.
“Call Harry Reid’s office in Washington D.C. and ask him to do his job and that is to bringing the NDAA for fiscal 2015 to the floor. Let the Senators cast their vote and let’s get this approved and move on so we cannot only take out ISIL, but protect the world’s best support airplane the A-10.”
“The overwhelming support, the grassroots support that has been going to the D.C. area has been overwhelming to the point where the offices are saying, ‘stop we get it, we get that we cannot live without the A-10 please stop the people from calling.”
Retired Lt. Colonel Tom Norris is encouraging citizens to contact our representatives Senators Flake, McCain, Congressman Barber and to keep their feet to the fire. Demanding action to save the A-10 and keep our men and women better protected.