Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417 or Lorcan Connick (202) 224-9106WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), John McCain (R-AZ), and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) released the following statement today regarding the A-10:
"For the sake of our ground troops in future conflicts, Congress must include a provision in the fiscal year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act to prohibit the Air Force's divestment of the A-10. Putting the A-10s in type-1000 storage is not a compromise; it is a codification of the Air Force's short-sighted and dangerous proposal to divest their most combat-effective and cost-efficient close air support aircraft. Units will be stood-down, training will no longer occur, and crews will be re-assigned.
"We are united in our belief that when we send our troops into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation to ensure they have the very best support possible so they can accomplish their missions and return home safely. While we recognize that the Air Force confronts difficult budget decisions, we believe prematurely divesting the A-10 would put our ground troops in serious additional danger in future conflicts. As the NDAA process moves forward, we will continue to look for the right offset that addresses this issue in a comprehensive way.
"We know this is not the first time the Air Force has tried to divest the A-10. The Air Force tried to do so in the late 1980s, but the Department of Defense expressed concern that the Air Force had not ‘adequately emphasized the close air support mission...' Thank goodness the Air Force's effort was overturned-hundreds of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are alive today because the Air Force's previous A-10 divestment efforts were defeated."