When American troops find themselves in perilous positions on the battlefield, there is no better sound overhead than the A-10 bringing its 30 mm gun to bear on the enemy.
Yet over the last two years, the Obama administration and Air Force leadership have been working overtime to mothball our entire A-10 fleet, 13 years ahead of schedule. This decision to divest the A-10 is, by the Administration's own admission, a budget-driven decision that will create a capability gap in the Close Air Support (CAS) and Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) missions. The result is American lives will be put at risk.
Congresswoman Martha McSally has led a bipartisan effort to advocate for funding of the A-10 and to keep our best Close Air Support asset in the air and protecting our troops.
Alexander Kartveli contributed significantly to the science of flight and the readiness of the US military during and after World War II, and was involved in designing and leading of various vital military aviation projects, which eventually included the A-10.
In January 2016, the USAF announced it was halting plans to retire the A-10 for at least several years. In addition to Congressional opposition, its use in anti-ISIL operations, deployments to Eastern Europe as a response to Russian military's intervention in Ukraine, and reevaluation of F-35 numbers necessitated its continued use. In February 2016, it was reported that the Air Force had deferred the final retirement of the aircraft until 2022 - after being replaced by F-35s on a squadron-by-squadron basis. In October 2016, the Air Force Material Command returned the depot maintenance line back to full capacity in preparation for re-winging the fleet.
Today, the A-10 is the longest serving fighter aircraft in history.