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Arizona lawmakers are vowing to fight a plan by the Air Force to start retiring some of the nation's fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack jets — a major operation at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base — as part of a plan to drop some older, legacy weapon systems to help pay for new programs.
U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a former A-10 pilot, and U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., both vowed to fight the move to retire 44 of the oldest A-10s starting this year.
During a press briefing last week, Air Force officials unveiled plans to start mothballing several older platforms, including retiring some A-10s even as it refits others with new wings.
The Air Force wants to get rid of some of its most well-known aircraft. Here's what's on the chopping block
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
The $207.2 billion total spending in the Air Force's 2021 budget request holds even with what the service was allotted in 2020.
The lack of change in dollars contrasts with Air Force officials' comments about a need for dramatic change to prepare for potential high-end conflict with a power like Russia or China.
"If you have platforms that are not going to play in that 2030 fight, is there a near-term risk, which is real risk, that we need to take as a department to buy our future, to be able to have the connectivity we need to fight at the speeds the future's going to demand?" Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said in January.
The 2021 request, released Monday, stopped short of big shakeups, such as ditching entire aircraft inventories or scrapping major procurement programs, according to Defense News.
But the proposed 2021 budget would part with a number of noteworthy aircraft, freeing up $4.1 billion in the next five-year spending plan and reflecting a belief that "winning in the future will require investing in the right new capabilities now," an Air Force spokeswoman told Military.com.
Below, you can which aircraft the Air Force wants to retire:
Production on the Army's newest armored vehicle would slow considerably in 2021 under a budget proposal unveiled by Pentagon officials this week.
But that doesn't necessarily mean Anniston Army Depot will see a delay in its work on the Armored Multipurpose Vehicle, an advocate for the depot said.
The Navy and Marine Corps intend to purchase an additional 203 Tactical Tomahawk Cruise Missiles for roughly $402 million in 2021, according to the Navy's budget request for that fiscal year, with 155 of the long-range munitions going to the Navy and 48 going to the Marine Corps.
The Navy's decision to get more Tomahawks isn't all that shocking — after all, the missiles made national news as recently as 2017 after President Donald Trump approved launching dozens at targets in Syria.
However, the fact that the Corps wants to get their hands on the cruise missile is surprising.
"The Marine Corps is procuring the Tomahawk missile as part of an overall strategy to build a more lethal Fleet Marine Force," said Capt Christopher Harrison, a Marine Corps spokesman, who also confirmed to Task & Purpose that the Marine Corps' intent to procure Tomahawks is "a new development."
"This capability is in support of the Marine Corps Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO) and the National Defense Strategy (NDS) approach to build a more lethal Joint Force," Harrison said. "Further details on the capability and or employment are classified."
The Marine Corps' end strength will drop by thousands for the first time since it ended a years-long post-war drawdown as the service moves forward with a plan to slash manpower costs to pay for modern equipment and weapons systems.
The Marine Corps wants $46 billion in 2021, almost identical to last year's $45.9 billion request as the Pentagon's topline budget ask for next year remains flat. The request includes plans to drop the force from its authorized 2020 end strength of 186,200 down to 184,100 in 2021.
The manpower reductions are "part of larger reform initiatives aimed at internally generating resources ... to reinvest in modernization and increasing lethality," budget documents state. Moving toward a smaller service is part of a plan to get the Marine Corps to where it needs to be in the next 15 years, the request states.
If approved, the reduction would mark the first time the force has faced personnel cuts since 2016, when the Marine Corps ended a drawdown that cut about 20,000 from the ranks after it bulked up during the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.