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"The Taliban hates the A-10. That’s good enough for me." -- Senator Lindsey Graham

In February of 2012, a report surfaced that said the U.S. military was looking to retire single-purpose aircraft in favor of multirole aircraft in large part due to budget cuts. One of the aircraft that was among those to be killed off was the A-10 Warthog. However, it looks as though some lawmakers want the venerable Warthog to fly for many more years.
The A-10 is a dedicated ground attack jet that has been providing close air support for decades. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R) has announced that she will push for amendments to be made to legislation that would retire the A-10 fleet.
The USAF has proposed the removal of the A-10 from its fleet by 2019 in part due to a 2011 deficit-reduction law. There are lawmakers on both sides of the isle that want to keep the A-10 flying, but they will have to find cuts in the budget elsewhere to make that happen.

The USAF maintains that by cutting the A-10 from the fleet it will save $3.5 billion over several years.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R) says that he has "been in theater enough to know what the troops say about the A-10." Graham added, "The Taliban hates the A-10. That’s good enough for me."
According to reports, many senior Army leaders, special operations troops, and soldiers in the field oppose the retirement of the fleet. Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Oiderno recently stated, "Obviously, we prefer the A-10. [Soldiers] can see it, they can hear it, they have confidence in it."

Source: Defense News

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By Bad-Karma on 4/14/2014 11:55:27 AM , Rating: 2
The reason the AF has never relished the close support role is a bit older and far darker than just wanting sexy aircraft.

In just about every conflict there have been numerous friendly fire incidents attributed with close support. It is almost unavoidable. The AC is moving at incredible speeds and there is never anything surgical about a 2000lb bomb. Confusion and mistakes are going to happen. That and when it does occur it has a tendency to not only mentally effect the pilot but also tends to make other pilots far more weary of providing the level of close support needed in the future.

Getting "too close" and "not close enough" is just as ineffectual on the battlefield. Both of which tend to breed animosity with the ground troops. Also remember that it took Billy Mitchell and pearl Harbor before the US Navy wised up and started truly seeing how to integrate air power into its mission. Before that the USN's air arm had just as much of a rift at the Army did with Air Corp. The US army and US Air Force have never been very friendly toward each other going all the way back to pre-WWI and the Army Air Corp. WWII pretty much put a permanent fracture between the two when it comes to the perceived role of Air power.

The marines probably do close air support far better than the other services combined. It's what they constantly train for. IMO the Marines ultimate CS aircraft would be an A-10ish AC that would be carrier or STOVL capable, remanence of the A-1 Skyraider. However they are always sucking hind tit when it comes to funding for R&D/technology and weapons procurement. They uusally have to take what the other services throw off and then fit it to its new role. Not many people realize it but the USAF put more funding into the V-22 than the Marines as it was a joint project.

The other side of the argument is that the US Army has always flaunted the ability of its helicopter gunships to adequately fill the role. They've always put out their hand for more and continual funding toward that purpose. However, those helicopter gunships are seldom close enough to reach areas that needs close air support in time.

By Jeffk464 on 4/14/2014 4:04:40 PM , Rating: 2
Not many people realize it but the USAF put more funding into the V-22 than the Marines as it was a joint project.

The Air Force doesn't want to be left out of the special ops game. If not for AC 130's and V-22/helicopter for pick up and drop off they would be left out.

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