Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson has signed a letter to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force expressing concern about recent reports that the Air Force is considering divesting itself of the A-10 Thunderbolt II. The A-10 is currently operated at Gowen Field.
The letter states, in part:
The A-10 has provided the Air Force with decades of exemplary service with a new retrofit of the aiframe’s wing and electronics package, the A-10 can continue its close air support mission for decades to come. National security and the protection of our service members in combat areas must be paramount as we consider the needs of the Department of Defense. To deprive itself of such a combat-proven workhorse such as the A-10 would be a mistake and adversely impact the ability of the Air Force to support the warfighter on the ground.
Congressman Simpson added, “We all understand that forces are being drawn down in Afghanistan, and I applaud attempts to find efficiencies within the force structure, but it is important to remain fully capable, including maintaining the ability to provide close-air combat support for troops on the ground.”
The letter also requested that the Air Force provide the proposed funding decisions for the A-10 and its proposed future guidance.