The A-10 Survives Congressional Cuts
On May 8th, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) unanimously approved a measure that would authorize just over $600 billion in 2015 US defense spending and block plans to retire the A-10 Warthog.
Slated for Type-1000 storage, meaning the airframes would be temporarily retired to Davis-Montham AFB and preserved with special wrapping for later potential use, the A-10 would be saved in the last hours of the 13-hour budget session.
The amendment was offered by Arizona Democrat Rep. Ron Barber and cosponsored by Reps. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., and Austin Scott, R-Ga. Initially, the amendment failed via voice vote — though it sounded like there were more supporters. The measure later passed 41-20 in a roll-call vote.
First introducing the compromise of storing (not retiring) the A-10, Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., in his own statement called the measure “the gold standard for congressional bipartisanship and transparency.” During the markup, McKeon and other Republicans stressed the need to, as the bill does, protect weapon systems — as well as block proposed cuts to troop levels, in case Congress finds a way to get rid of sequestration and defense spending caps.
Instead, the bipartisan amendment prohibits such a move, or a retirement, until the US comptroller general makes a number of certifications and completes several studies, including a report to evaluate all Air Force platforms that are used for close-air-support (CAS) missions.