According to Air Force General Clarke, Director of the Air National Guard, the Air Force “has to have a fifth generation force out there” of stealthy, fast and maneuverable aircraft, and the low and slow A-10 just doesn’t fit in.
Gen. Mark Welsh, the Air Force chief of staff, declared his affection for the A-10, which happens to be an aircraft he has 1,000 hours flying. “I love that old ugly thing,” Welsh said.
However, the chief of staff explained the service has to take part in finding over a trillion dollars in cuts to the defense budget over the next ten years because of sequestration. In this budget environment, he said the Air Force will likely be unable to afford the Warthog.
The A-10, developed by Fairchild-Republic in the 1970s, was credited with destroying more than 900 Iraqi tanks in the first Gulf War and has been a close air support mainstay in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
However, Welsh said the A-10 finds itself on the chopping block because “it’s a single-mission airplane, essentially,” and would struggle in more contested airspaces.
“We’re looking for every option for where you can cut money, every modernization/recapitalization program,” Welsh said. “If we have multiple-mission airplanes that can do the mission – maybe not as well, but reasonably well – you would look at eliminating the single-mission platform.”
I want you to note that last statement: “maybe not as well, but reasonably well”. Really? He says it’s OK to arm and support our service members “reasonably well” when we could (and should) be arming and supporting them “well”?
When our political and military leadership start thinking and talking like this, it’s time for us to start replacing that leadership with people passionate about being the “best armed and supported” military – not the “reasonable well” armed and supported!
I’m writing some Senators and Congressmen today! You should too.
It's OK to have imaginary friends -as long as you know they're imaginary.
Live Long and Prosper....