A-10, EC-130H Compass Call Covered In FY2016 NDAA

The chairmen of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees reported out the final conference agreement of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, on Tuesday.  Specific provisions in the NDAA will protect the A-10 while making “significant reforms” to the Department of Defense.

“The A-10 is the finest close-air support aircraft in our nation’s arsenal that currently plays an important role in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria, as well as in NATO’s efforts to deter Russia’s aggression in Eastern Europe,” said Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I am proud that the NDAA once again prevents the Obama Administration from prematurely retiring this important weapon that continues to protect American service members and our allies in combat.

According to McCain, the “legislation includes some of the most significant reforms to the Department of Defense in a generation, and identifies $11 billion in excessive and unnecessary spending resulting from bloated headquarters and administrative overhead, delayed or troubled weapons programs, and unjustified budget requests. It reinvests those savings in providing critical military capabilities for our warfighters, meeting unfunded priorities of our service chiefs and combatant commanders, and supporting critical national security priorities.”

While McCain has never fought to bring money to Arizona, as he faces Republican Primary challengers, he made sure to note the “Arizona-related” provisions in the Act:

The NDAA once again prevents any premature retirement of the A-10, which continues its vital role of protecting American service members and our allies in combat. Despite the Obama Administration’s repeated attempts to retire the A-10 fleet, the NDAA prohibits the Air Force from retiring any A-10 Warthogs and fully funds the flight hours, pilot training, fuel, and maintenance for all A-10s for the upcoming year. The NDAA also requires the Secretary of the Air Force to maintain a minimum of 171 combat-coded A-10 aircraft, many of which are stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (AFB) in Tucson, and directs the Government Accountability Office to conduct an investigation and review of the A-10’s close-air support mission.

The NDAA prevents the Air Force from following through on its proposal to retire seven EC-130H Compass Call electronic attack fleet airplanes stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. These jamming and surveillance aircraft are critical to protecting our air men and women from sophisticated electronic attacks in conflicts across the Middle East such as Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan as well as against potential threats in the Pacific and Europe.

Additional NDAA provisions related to Arizona:

  • Fully funds Army’s request for 64 Apache helicopters to be remanufactured in Mesa;
  • Increases the military’s budget to purchase 49 additional Tomahawk missiles, which will be manufactured at Raytheon in Tucson;
  • Increases the military’s budget by $140 million to purchase additional anti-tank missiles, which will be manufactured at Raytheon in Tucson;
  • Allows the transfer of approximately 125-200 unneeded mobile homes from the Department of Defense to Native American tribes – for which the Navajo and other tribes have long advocated – at no cost to the American taxpayer.

The NDAA provides funding for military construction projects in Arizona, including:

  • $16.9 million at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson for C-130 storage and cleaning facilities;
  • $50.6 million at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma for aircraft maintenance facilities;
  • $33 million at Luke AFB for an Air Force Squad Operations Facility;
  • $13.2 million at Luke AFB for an aircraft maintenance hangar;
  • $5.5 million at Luke AFB for a bomb maintenance facility;
  • $5 million at Luke AFB for a fuel offloading facility; and
  • $3.8 million at Fort Huachuca for communications facility renovations.

The NDAA also includes several measures related to Arizona’s border security operations across the U.S.-Mexico border, including:

  • $45 million for Operation Phalanx, which would increase border security operations by the National Guard along the southern border and could result in an approximately 60 percent increase in aerial surveillance of the region;
  • Up to $75 million in additional assistance to Customs and Border Protection operations to secure the southern border, which may include the deployment of personnel, surveillance assets, and intelligence support;
  • $50 million to address U.S. Southern Command’s unfunded priorities to increase surveillance and interdiction operations in Central America, a primary transit point for illicit trafficking into the United States; and
  • Enables the Secretary of Defense to transfer excess defense articles and equipment to the Department of Homeland Security for border security activities.


  1. Russians are operating the SAMS and they ain’t old junk, just as the SAM that took out the airliner at 40 Angles was not an old junker – they are fast, accurate, maybe fired from another aircraft which would be RUSSIAN with a RUSSIAN flying it – they have warned us ‘stay out of the air space’ I don’t believe they would say that ‘out of hand’ or ‘trigger finger’ they have not pulled a punch yet on Ukraine or otherwise – Iran is their ally – as is Syria – the targets are not ISIS but anti Assad targets – which we are watching from above space assets – if you think the A-10 is a match for a Mig – I’ll just say… ok watch what happens. I also believe this is a direct attempt to ratchet up the tension – gain more control – Russia is pushing itself in the Middle east – with Pursia – it’s supposed to happen that way and it is… imagine that. If you don’t want to see that – ok – it’s a free country ; have your opinion. Who would have thought last year that Russia would have an airbase in Syria, who is technically still at war with Israel. Gives one pause – Ezekiel 38 ; not yet but close.

  2. While McMaverick has NEVER Fought For anything for Arizona Since his Presidential run, he has Brought up data about things to do to get elected.

  3. Well you can tell its election time as the maggots are crawling out from the woodwork. Mclame realizes he has a lost cause in trying to get re-elected (well justified that he isn’t) and the rest are starting to feelthe heat that trump has lite the fire on ‘professional’ politicians. They have been bought for sooooooo long they really dont work for the people but the masters that tell them what to think, how to think and what to vote for. Just like they are pushing the ‘professionals’ in the media. How do folks know who is up or down but through the media who manipulate the stuff to fit their masters calls! Think about it.

  4. BillyB – “within days of the A-10s being shot down”? Please enlighten us with your in-depth threat and A-10 countermeasure knowledge….don’t forget a 30-year old Russian SAM shot down an F-117 in Operation Allied Force.

    • All of our losses to SAMs since Desert Storm have been older generation ones, such as SA-2/3/6. That includes F-14, -15E, -16, the 117 and even A-10s. We haven’t suffered losses to any new gen SAM systems, save maybe the Roland that took down Jim Ewald’s Hog in ’03. But only because we haven’t been going up against an enemy possessing them. I do hope we haven’t gotten too complacent with operating for the past 16 years with impunity, in airspace where the only threat has been small arms/automatic weapons, and the possibility of shoulder launched SAMs. I would hope that SAM systems in Syria aren’t being operated by either trained ISIS people, former Syrian troops loyal to ISIS, or former Syrian troops being forced to. I don’t believe the Russians would deliberately target US aircraft, but it’s the unknown of what’s left of Syrian systems, that has my concern. New or old, we have to honor the threat, lest it bites us in the butt.

  5. Russia is NOT fighting US aircraft. They are hitting the A-Rab (and Persian bad guys).

    Putin continues to play the muzzie-in-jefe. Upgrade the A-10s and build more!
    (A note to BillyB above: ease back on the coffee, buddy.)

  6. waaaa waaa waaa this A-10 and EC-130 is now up against Russian Jets and troops not some rag tag army filled with American trucks and guns – the ‘cold war’ they say may return – the ‘hot one’ is what’s arrived ‘ RUSSIA SAID “GET OUT” to the USA the day after our Obaman – I’m sure with greater “flexibility” promised in the last meeting told Russia go ahead we will do nothing – I am the Obama – so we without question now know who he is and which side he’s on.. the rest is just fluff – will the United States be involved – if not now very soon – there’s a couple of things to occur here first in the repression of the people the growth of the beast – but that time is close. The A-10’s – its but days till we read of the headlines of them being shot down. God Bless America – God Bless Israel.

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