The A-10 Warthog got a major boost from Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson at the end of 2017, and Congress has told the service to overhaul the beloved light attack aircraft’s wings to extend its life by another 20 years. But internally, branch officials would prefer that the tank-killer jet up its wings for good, a new report suggests.
The Air Force is weighing whether it should retire its fleet of F-15C fighters from its active-duty and reserve units and transition those crews to F-16s with upgraded radars, service leaders revealed Wednesday to House lawmakers.
Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Siobhana R. McEwen
Since sequestration began in 2013, the reduced number of hours flown by pilots, crews trained, and aircraft maintained has created a major problem: a lack of flight readiness across all the services. While the effect of budget constraints was not at first apparent, a rise in-flight mishaps, decreases in pilot retention, and increases in the number of aircraft that simply can’t fly have made it clear to policymakers that U.S. air superiority is suffering.
DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth
Military bands form a tradition — a living tradition that continues even today. But budget tightening and fat cutting have put the Pentagon’s continued support of that tradition under a microscope. Entertainment is “just not the role of the military,” Arizona Rep. and retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally recently told the website Politico. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, she is one of several lawmakers pressuring the Pentagon to take a long hard look at its spending on military bands. And while it’s probably true that military bands should share their equal burden of cuts in an atmosphere of tightening budgets, it’s important to keep in mind the important role they play. Instead of thinking about budget cuts for military bands and simply downsizing, it would be more constructive to think of making them more efficient at what they do.