The Straus Military Reform Project and the Center for Defense Information dropped a bomb on United State Air Force officials today in a report that revealed, in detail, USAF efforts to deceive officials and the public about the A-10. Now, the Commander of the 355th Fighter Wing, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Col. James P. Meger has been implicated in the controversial campaign against the A-10.
Dubbed “Operation Destroy CAS,” the campaign against the USAF role in providing Close Air Support, has sparked Congressional hearings and calls for an Inspector General investigation and resignations of top USA brass.
According to the Straus Military Reform Project’s article, Running for Cover: A Sham Air Force Summit Can’t Fix the Close Air Support Gap Created by Dumping the A-10, Meger, delivered a “sanitized presentation to the Air Force Chief of Staff,” which failed to mention “the 10- to 12-year estimated capability gap” should the a-10 be mothballed, “nor was there any mention whatsoever of the need to maintain legacy aircraft—such as the A-10 or less capable alternatives like the F-16 or F-15E—until the F-35A reached FOC.”
Just yesterday, General Welsh visited Davis Monthan for the first time since gaining control of the USAF. Welsh refused to meet with reporters and according to sources, sized the base up for BRAC purposes.
Should the USAF succeed in Operation Destroy CAS, DM will likely be BRACed.
The idea that the very officer, who is supposed to be protecting the base and its mission, would scrub the benefits of that mission from the record has sent a chill across the very warm southern Arizona community. Operatives have been working to end any effort to save the A-10 claiming that concerns about the mission and the base were off-base.
Southern Arizonans first learned of a threat to the A-10 on a hot summer afternoon in August 2013. Arizona Senator Jeff Flake inadvertently revealed on the popular James T. Harris radio show that that the Air Force had planned to phase out the A-10, which would result in an estimated loss of 6,000 jobs.
Southern Arizona would suffer a $1.6 billion hit to its economy.
Flake told Harris’ audience that the plans to eliminate the A-10 and the KC-10, an air refueling tanker and cargo aircraft, have been in the works for a while. Flake has passed up opportunities to fight for new missions for the base, and his operatives have blocked efforts by the public to do so.
Earlier this month, the ADI reported on the Close Air Support (CAS) Summit propaganda campaign waged to justify divestment of the A-10C ahead of the tough budget decisions as part of the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).