Air Force moves to park A-10s, abandon friendlies

a-10Sources have confirmed that that the Air Force is trying to ensure the final National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) language on the A-10 will allow the USAF to park a large number of A-10s. The plan would specifically reassign aircraft from “full combat ready status” to “battlefield reserves status.”

Because squadron personnel manning is calculated on the number of Primary Aircraft Authorization (PAA) aircraft, Backup Aircraft Inventory (BAI) aircraft have zero manning attached to it. This means that perhaps half, or more of the squadron personnel would move out of A-10 units if the USAF succeeds.

By making this change, the USAF could reallocate personnel to other areas such as the F-35 or other programs.

The current language passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee would not allow the Air Force to reduce manning in A-10 units in FY 2015 and therefore would eliminate any benefit from this conversion from PAA to BAI. Unfortunately, the House-passed NDAA would not prevent this reduction in manning and would provide the Air Force the incentive and opportunity to make this move.

So as the two bills are “conferenced,” supporters of the A-10 say that it is important that the final language reflect the SASC A-10 language not the House language.

Senator Inhofe (Oklahoma), Senator Levin (Michigan), Representative Smith (Washington State), and Representative McKeon (California) are the primary individuals to decide what is in the final NDAA.

Experts suggest that A-10 supporters, who live in Oklahoma, Michigan, Claifornia and Washington, should call the respective member’s front office phone number in DC and express their support for the A-10. Inhofe and Levin have been supportive in the past but should be encouraged to “push for the SASC A-10 language to be included in the final NDAA, and oppose the Air Force’s BAI plan.” For those who do not live in the states, they are encouraged contact family or friends whom these members represent and ask them to contact their member. If you have a member who serves on the SASC or HASC, contact their front office phone number and express your support for the A-10 and ask them to support the SASC-approved A-10 language in the final NDAA.

FY 2015 SASC-Passed NDAA:

SEC. 134. LIMITATION ON AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS FOR RETIREMENT OF A-10 AIRCRAFT.
(a) Limitation- None of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise made available for fiscal year 2015 for the Air Force may be obligated or expended to make significant changes to manning levels with respect to any A-10 aircraft squadrons, or to retire, prepare to retire, or place in storage any A-10 aircraft, except for such aircraft the Secretary of the Air Force, as of April 9, 2013, planned to retire.
(b) Rule of Construction- Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or otherwise affect the requirement to maintain the operational capability of the A-10 aircraft.

FY 2015 House-Passed NDAA:

SEC. 132. PROHIBITION ON AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS FOR RETIREMENT OF A-10 AIRCRAFT.
(a) Prohibition- None of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise made available for fiscal year 2015 for the Department of Defense may be obligated or expended to retire A-10 aircraft.
(b) Comptroller General Study-
(1) STUDY- The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study evaluating the platforms of the Air Force used, as of the date of the study, to conduct close air support missions.
(2) REPORT- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report on the study under paragraph (1), including–
(A) the cost per airframe carrying out the close air support missions described in such paragraph;
(B) the capabilities of each platform evaluated under such study; and
(C) a determination by the Comptroller General with respect to whether such airframes other than A-10 aircraft are able to successfully carry out such close air support missions.

9 Comments

  1. As I posted yesterday, its time for the COT, Pima County and our representatives to get together and see this issue through. The AF is doing exactly what they want to do and that is kill the project without making it look like that they are killing it.

    All of this happens while McCain is worried about McSally and her election and little Jeffy McFlake is off on an island playing games. Barber and all had to know about the differences in the two bills and one has to wonder why the House bill was written the way it was. Oh, well as long as we have incompetent leaders here in AZ then the voters deserve what they get. Once the A10 is gone, there will be no new mission for DM and the 2000 jobs plus the money that is spend in the area will be gone and you can thank all of our representatives and the COT and BOS for a job well done.

  2. Jd – as I’ve posted – this is all abut elections and nothing about the A-10 which is as dead as a doornail – there isn’t any language in any language that is going to save this ‘old program’ – or DM for that matter. I think both are headed for the bone yard and the COT and PC probably played a role in making that decision by simply being anti-military for some time now. THE QUESTION is going to be what this does to the economy. BTW I would not be surprised if Raython followed close behind in moving their Tucson plant operations to Alabama. Grand ol life in “BAJA Arizona” coming this way….

  3. Billy B, the only thing that would have happened would have been one more year for full funding for the A10 and its auxiliary activities. It will truly be sad to see the A10 which is our best close air support platform for ground troops go to the boneyard. It was/is a great airplane but its not fast, sleek and doesn’t cost billions so the AF doesn’t want it. Yes, I agree when the end of the fiscal year 15 is reached, the A10 is dead and most likely so is DMAFB. The idiots who think that it will receive a new mission are so full of it that they don’t have a clue. With the disappearance of the A10 and with the next round of BRAC coming DM is in deep trouble. With the loss of the 2K jobs and every thing that goes with them, this area will take a hit like it hasn’t seen for a very long time. Baja AZ will truly start to take shape as a welfare state because it is the 8th poorest area in the country now. Damn, we need some more call center and hamburger joint jobs with a minimum wage of at least $15 per hour. Isn’t that what the libs want???

  4. Let’s not confuaw hatred towards Hispanics, with this issue. Arizona US Senators could careless about Tucson & Southern Arizona.

    flake & McCain only are Washington beauracrat. Special interest , Republican Agenda , Maricopa County and the rest of us be damed.

    Yes it the ALL Arizona elected ppl to support Tucson , Pima County and all of Southern Arizona! I suggest you not get hopes up, we are not on radar.

    Stop hating on Mexican I am american of Mexican Heritage, PROUD and a voter.

  5. mr hernandez, just where is the mexican hate in any of the above? Its not only mclame and mcflake who care less itrs your favorite greedyhalfa and company. They are the ones (him in particular) that continually try to defeat the tax payers of this area and support the basic overthrow of the community. They pursue a dumbing down of ALL in the area so that their ‘PROGRESSIVE’ views will be all that are available. No need to care or work as the dems/libs feel you need to be subservient and dependent on government handouts.

    We are on a radar of sorts, the radar of despair and dependency, continually pushed by the likes of the grijalvas at all levels and those to whom they are dependent and are dependent on them. If you dont beleive this just look around and see who is getting the best end of the deal. It sure isn’t the american taxpayer, white, mexican or otherwise.

  6. RH – mexican A-10s? the free flying airforce… yeah yeah – I’m the first born of a Mexican immigrant as well – in fact I’m an anchor baby – from way back before they had a name for it… soooooo what does that have to do with A-10’s and stinking lousy US gov’t planning?

  7. Hank are you Hispanic? It is a complete different when your the group being selected. You will not comprehend what it feels like unless your Hispanic, African american , lgbt once you feel that then you will change attitude. We are over 40% and growing !

    On issue of A 10, that issue font get Baja Az be issue. Call push force all Arizona elected ppl support dmaf base.

    I know with or without your support Hispanics WILL me majority in a decade or so. Try love , respect, equality ,American values.

  8. Wow, not too racist are you Richard. No one has said anything about legal immigration on these pages, its illegal immigration that most people in this country are tired of paying for, how about you. How does your back feel knowing that you are helping to pay for 60K illegals that came across our borders and now will be supported by the taxpayer? Schools will suffer, social programs will be drained all in the name of “its only for a better life” or “I am being persecuted at home and need an attorney.” Yep, I sure am happy.

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