RETIRED AIR FORCE COLONEL MARTHA MCSALLY, WHO IS RUNNING FOR CONGRESS IN ARIZONA TODAY ISSUED THE FOLLOW STATEMENT BOUT THE PENTAGON’S PROPOSAL TO MOTHBALL THE A-10. MCSALLY BECAME THE FIRST AMERICAN WOMAN TO COMMAND A SQUADRON IN COMBAT AT THE HEAD OF A SQUADRON OF A-10s. SHE HAS THEREFORE SUBSTANTIAL FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT THE A-10 CAN AND CANNOT DO IN COMBAT.
Barber asleep at the switch
Today, Secretary of Defense Hagel confirmed that the Obama administration plans to mothball the A-10 Warthog to save money. This is a reckless decision that will put American lives at risk. Despite what Hagel stated, the A-10 is not a single mission aircraft. It is America’s most capable and survivable aircraft in Close Air Support, Forward Air Control, Combat Search and Rescue, and Strike Coordination and Reconnaissance. We must preserve the capability to protect Americans under fire on the ground with our best assets, and the A-10 is second to none while being inexpensive to maintain and operate.
The loss of the A-10, along with Hagel’s request for another round of base closures in 2017, results in a significant risk to the Tucson community as well. Davis-Monthan’s main mission revolves around the A-10, and the $1.6B economic impact of the base to our community is now also at risk.
I alerted the community to the risk of the A-10 cuts and the future of DM in an Arizona Daily Star op-ed on August 27th, 2013 (LINK
). In a September 1st, 2013 AZ Daily Star Steller column (LINK
), Ron Barber is quoted as stating there is “flat out” no risk to the A-10 in the short term, after serving in Congress for over 14 months on the Armed Services Committee and representing Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, the “home of the A-10.” He is now attempting to cover his tracks by stating he is fighting to save the A-10, but his too little, too late efforts clearly had no impact on his party’s administration and their decisions.
We need someone in DC who understands the value of the A-10 and DM and has a track record of fighting and winning, not talking and losing. Having commanded an A-10 squadron in combat, I am running to bring the experience and leadership we need for this significant issue impacting our country and community.