“By scrapping the A-10, the Air Force is guaranteeing more Gold Star families will be created,” according to Charlie Keebaugh, president of the largest group of tactical-air-control party airmen.
The 2024 version of the National Defense Authorization Act (pdf) allows the Air Force to retire 42 A-10 Thunderbolt 2s in 2024, with the remaining 220 or so to be retired with prejudice by 2029. This retiring of the A-10 “Warthog” is predicated on the fantastical disproven idea that the A-10, which to this day is the most cost-effective plane in the Air Force’s inventory, can be replaced by the F-35.
This power play by the Air Force is just another chapter in the long, ongoing saga of senior Air Force leaders using every tactic, including underhanded tactics, threats, and rigged testing, to justify retiring the A-10. It certainly isn't about improving our country’s close air support (CAS) capabilities that have saved countless American lives. Instead, it's about converting A-10 maintainers to F-35 maintainers in order to satisfy the F-35s endless, ravenous appetite for maintenance and support. And it's about killing off the plane that will continue to show up the F-35 as long as it continues to fly...
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