U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. David Kujawa.
A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack planes will keep flying through at least 2021, the Air Force's top general said this week.
The statements were welcomed by U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Arizona, a former A-10 pilot who has worked to keep the planes from being mothballed by the Air Force. The A-10, which is known for its toughness and ability to provide close-air support for ground forces, is the main mission at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson.
Her comments follow a statement made by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein at a media breakfast Tuesday in Washington, D.C., that the Air Force will keep all A-10 aircrafts flying until at least 2021. His statements were reported online by several defense news websites.
Previous commitments by the Air Force would have seen the gradual phasing out of the aircraft starting in 2018, with plans to ground the entire fleet by 2022.
“I welcome General Goldfein’s comments about retaining all our A-10s until at least 2021. Air Force leadership clearly recognize that the previous decision to mothball the A-10 was a mistake and that this aircraft can continue to play a critical role in strengthening our national security," McSally said in her statement.
Both McSally and Sen. John McCain fought to stave off budget cuts that threaten to ground the A-10s permanently.
A former Air Force pilot, McSally has repeatedly asked the military for a comparative "fly-off" between the A-10 and its likely replacement, the F-35, to see which plane is better at providing close-air support of ground forces.
She believes the new timeline will give officials ample time for such a test.
"My provision in last year’s (National Defense Authorization Act) requiring an A-10/F-35 fly-off before any A-10 can be retired aligns with this timeline," she said. "We need to start a serious discussion about what will preserve the A-10’s crucial capabilities in future Close Air Support scenarios."
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid $13,000 over a three-month period for a senior official's biweekly commute to Washington from his home in California, according to expense reports obtained by ProPublica.
Staff Sgt. John Eller conducts pre-flights check on his C-17 Globemaster III Jan. 3 prior to taking off from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii for a local area training mission. Sgt. Eller is a loadmaster from the 535th Airlift Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)
CUCUTA, Colombia — The Trump administration ratcheted up pressure Saturday on beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, dispatching U.S. military planes filled with humanitarian aid to this city on the Venezuelan border.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.
President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval.
A pair of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron VF-211 Fighting Checkmates in flight over Iraq in 2003/Department of Defense
Since the sequel to the 1986 action flick (and wildly successful Navy recruitment tool) Top Gun, was announced, there's been a lot of speculation on what Top Gun: Maverick will be about when it premieres in June 2020. While the plot is still relatively unclear, we know Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and he'll be joined by a recognizable costar: The iconic F-14 Tomcat.
It looks like the old war plane will be coming out of retirement for more than just a cameo. A number of recently surfaced photos show an F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, alongside Cruise and members of the film's production crew, the Drive's Tyler Rogoway first reported earlier this week.