Obama’s contempt for the American military knows no bounds, but nothing speaks to his animosity more than his ongoing attempt, with the help of his apparatchiks in the Air Force and the Defense Department, to mothball the venerable, but lethally effective, A-10 fighter. Arizona Rep. Martha McSally, a former A-10 pilot herself, makes the case for the most feared weapon we have in the war against Islam:
WHEN American troops find themselves fighting for their lives, there is no better sound than an A-10, a plane officially nicknamed the Thunderbolt II but known affectionately by the troops as the Warthog, firing its enormous 30-millimeter gun at the enemy. It might not be pretty, but the A-10 is our most capable close air-support aircraft, and its arrival on the battlefield signals survival for our troops and annihilation for our enemies.
Yet over the last two years, the Obama administration and the Air Force leadership have been working overtime to mothball our entire A-10 fleet, 13 years ahead of schedule. They claim that other, newer planes can do the same job, that it’s too slow and vulnerable and that it’s too expensive.I appreciate the budget pressures that the Pentagon faces these days. But those arguments have serious flaws — and if we retire the A-10 before a replacement is developed, American troops will die.
That apparently matters little to the nation’s commander-in-chief; a man who, after hearing the news that four Americans had been killed at Benghazi, can roll over and go back to sleep before jetting off to party in Las Vegas the next day is capable of anything.
The A-10 has unique strengths for the most complex and dangerous such missions. It can loiter over the battlefield for long periods without refueling. It can maneuver in difficult terrain at low altitudes, fly slowly enough to visually identify enemy and friendly forces and survive direct hits. And it’s one of our most lethal aircraft, especially against moving targets, with its 1,174 rounds of ammunition, missiles, rockets and bombs. Not only is the A-10 best equipped for close air support, but it is crucial to leading combat search and rescue missions of downed pilots. After the barbaric murder of a captured Jordanian F-16 pilot by ISIS, these capabilities are more important than ever — indeed, A-10s are on round-the-clock alert during American missions against ISIS.
The A-10 was designed as a Cold War tank killer, and its cannon is the only one in the Air Force that can fire armor-piercing depleted-uranium 30-millimeter bullets. In a recent hearing, I asked the general in charge of our forces in South Korea what the loss of the A-10 would mean for our anti-armor capabilities. It would leave a major gap, he conceded…
Yet the administration and the Pentagon persist. Recently, Air Force leaders said the fight to save the A-10 was “emotional.” Of course it is. Just ask the families of Master Sergeant Wells and his men. The A-10 has supporters because we know it works — and that the American military can’t afford to retire it.
Quick, crack press corps: somebody ask Barry whether he cares.