Sens. Kelly, Sinema, Reps. Kirkpatrick, Gallego, O’Halleran, Stanton, Lesko Oppose Biden Budget Proposal to Retire A-10s

Today, Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, and Representatives Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Greg Stanton (AZ-09), and Debbie Lesko (AZ-08) issued statements following the release of President Biden’s fiscal year 2022 budget which calls for the partial retirement of the A-10.

Earlier this month, the Arizona delegation wrote a bipartisan letter to Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth expressing continued support for the A-10 Warthog and calling on the Air Force to answer questions about their failure to complete congressionally directed upgrades and re-winging of the aircraft and other assessments of the Air Force’s close air support capabilities.

“As someone who has flown close air support in combat, I know that the A-10 is unmatched in carrying out its mission and provides an invaluable capability to protect American service members on the ground. The Air Force has failed to produce results of a fly-off meant to determine whether other aircraft could perform the same missions at the level required to protect American service members. Removing A-10s from the fleet when there is not another aircraft capable of performing this mission takes a vital tool away from our military and is the wrong step for our national security. I oppose this plan and will be working with Republicans and Democrats to keep the A-10 flying at Davis-Monthan in this year’s defense bill,” said Senator Kelly.

“Protecting the A-10 is critical to our servicemembers’ safety and military readiness. I’ll continue working with our state’s delegation to ensure Arizona’s military installations are well-resourced and well-equipped, and to educate the administration on the A-10’s importance to our national security. Arizona servicemembers put their lives on the line to defend our country, and it is our duty to ensure they have proper support and resources,” said Senator Kyrsten Sinema.

“Arizonans know the value of the A-10, both to our state and to our national security as a whole. The A-10 is a crucial asset to the close air support mission and is an iconic symbol of the Arizona defense community—the fleet at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base remains the largest in the country. Protecting this aircraft has been one of my top priorities in Congress and I will work incredibly hard with my AZ colleagues to voice our concerns and push back on divestments to our fleet, we will do everything we can to support the A-10’s mission and home in Southern Arizona,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick.

“No aircraft in our inventory is as trusted by Marines and soldiers in combat as the A-10. We do a disservice to them, and risk undermining our tactical edge, if we prematurely reduce their numbers. At Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, these aircraft have the conditions and space to train, maintain, and prepare for our future fights, which is why the squadron stationed there must be preserved,” said Rep. Gallego.

“The A-10 has saved countless lives on the battlefield by providing unmatched close-air support, and the hundreds of good-paying jobs these crafts create are critical for southern Arizonans. We must protect our A-10s and the military readiness and employment they provide to families near Davis-Monthan,” added Rep. O’Halleran.

“Preserving the A-10 Warthog fleet is critical to ensuring Davis-Monthan Air Force Base can continue to thrive as an economic engine and job creator in our state—and to safeguarding our national security and military readiness. We need to work together to support this program, not cut it,” said Rep. Stanton.

“The A-10 Warthog is a vital asset to our close air support mission and an important symbol of the Arizona defense community. I am disappointed that the Biden Administration has chosen to reduce the A-10 fleet in their budget and will continue to support the program as the budget is considered in Congress,” said Rep. Lesko.