Lawmakers joined by Senator Blunt and Reps. Ruppersberger, Hartzler, Gallego, O’Halleran, and Stanton
(Tucson, AZ) — Today, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick re-introduced a resolution that recognizes the A-10 aircraft as a critical component of America’s national security and the most effective and cost-efficient Close Air Support attack aircraft in the Department of Defense (DoD) inventory. In the House, the bill is cosponsored by Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (MO-4), Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) and Rep. Greg Stanton (AZ-09). The bill is being co-introduced in the Senate by Senator Mark Kelly (AZ), Senator Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), and Senator Roy Blunt (MO). The A-10 resolution builds upon last year’s legislative A-10 victories and seeks Congress’ continued support for the program in future fiscal years.
“The A-10 Warthog is a vital fixture of Southern Arizona and the bedrock of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, which employs hundreds of airmen and contributes millions of dollars to our local economy,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick. “AZ-02 is home to the largest contingent of the A-10 fleet, and preserving this aircraft is one of my top priorities.”
“As a former combat and test pilot, I know just how crucial the A-10 is to protecting troops on the ground. That’s why it has been the backbone of the Air Force close air support mission and the pride of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I believe protecting the A-10 is in the best interest of our national security which is why I’m working with Republicans and Democrats to ensure that we keep the A-10 flying,” said Senator Mark Kelly.
“Protecting the A-10 is critical to our servicemembers’ safety, our national security, and our military readiness, and I’ll continue working to ensure that Arizona’s military installations are well-resourced and well-equipped. 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.
“The A-10 Thunderbolt II is highly preferred by U.S. combat troops and widely feared by our enemies,” said Senator Roy Blunt. “The aircraft’s capability is unmatched, conducting everything from close air support to search and rescue missions and more. I always enjoy visiting the 442nd Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, where over two dozen of these aircraft are based, and I appreciate the critical role all of our Airmen play in defending the nation.”
“I am proud that the Warfield Air National Guard base in the Second District’s Middle River is home to the 175th Wing, which maintains 21 A-10s while supporting jobs and our local economy,” said Rep. Ruppersberger. “The A-10 provides proven close air support to our ground forces and it’s imperative that our Department of Defense maintain this critical capability on behalf of our warfighters. This resolution is an important step in ensuring that happens.”
“Missouri’s Whiteman Air Force Base is proud to be home to the 442d Fighter Wing and its A-10 Warthogs, which provide our military men and women with top-notch security and strength in the skies to complete their missions,” Rep. Hartzler said. “Through Congress’s support, we can not only secure critical funding for this aircraft, but also extend a helping hand to our heroes fighting overseas. As the Ranking Member on the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, I am proud to continue my support for this resolution.”
“The A-10 Warthog is a critical tool to help protect the lives of American & allied troops on the front line,” added Rep. Gallego. “We must keep this fleet fully operational and mission-ready, and this resolution will help ensure that.”
“The A-10 has saved countless lives on the battlefield by providing unmatched close-air support, and the hundreds of good-paying jobs the crafts create are critical for southern Arizonans,” said Rep. O’Halleran. “Today, I was proud to join my colleagues in introducing legislation that protects the A-10 and safeguards our military readiness.”
“We’re working together to ensure that Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Southern Arizona continues to thrive as an economic engine and job creator in our state—and that effort includes preserving the A-10 Warthog fleet,” Rep. Stanton said.
Last year, the Air Force revealed plans to retire 44 of the oldest A-10s, mostly from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Rep. Kirkpatrick stopped this effort by securing funding in the Defense Appropriations bill to ensure the aircraft was fully funded and received necessary upgrades. Additionally, she secured language in the National Defense Authorization Act to prevent the retirement of the aircraft and increase transparency of on-going re-wing efforts.
“The Warthog has provided unmatched close air support and combat search and rescue capabilities for over 40 years, and it continues to be an invaluable asset to our military operations around the globe,” added Rep. Kirkpatrick. “I am proud to work with this group of lawmakers to ensure this fleet of aircraft remains ready to provide air support for our service members for years to come.”
For full text of the resolution, click here.