June 23, 2014

The A-10 Warthog Will Fight On For Awhile Longer

This photo taken above the holy city of  Shiite Ur Pantz, Iraq

From the Arizona Daily Star:
The U.S. House on Thursday overwhelmingly adopted an amendment to the 2015 defense appropriation bill that would prohibit the Pentagon from spending any money to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt II jet — a mainstay of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

But the fate of the venerated “Warthog” close-air-support jet remains far from certain, as the Senate still must act, and the issue will likely be hammered out in conference committee.

The amendment’s bipartisan adoption was a victory for Rep. Ron Barber, a Tucson Democrat, and other A-10 supporters, who were chagrined when the House Appropriations Committee left A-10 funding out of its version of the defense spending bill.

“This is a victory for those brave men and women in our armed forces and engaged in ground combat who depend on the A-10,” Barber said in prepared remarks after the late-evening vote. “I am fighting for the A-10 to remain in service because there is no better and more effective aircraft for close air support of our soldiers and Marines on the ground.”
There is no other craft proven to be better at what the A-10 does than the A-10. It is a marvel of Close Air Support (CAS) and to throw it away without replacing it (the F-35 is yet unproven) is a crime. The A-10 has a dry weight of 12 tons, yet it can carry 13 tons of weapons into combat.

We can throw a quarter billion dollars of international welfare at Central America without batting an eye ... how about protecting our troops until a new weapons system is ready to replace a tried and proven one?

I think that I shall never see
A plane so deadly, so ugly
A plane that's built around a gun
A plane that excels at a bombing run

A plane that's designed as a flying club
That surrounds its pilot with a titanium tub
He's safe as a babe in his mother's arms
Shielded from the enemy's deadly harms

A plane that sets the Hellcat loose
Like a thunderbolt hurled from Olympus by Zeus
Stupid poems are created every now and then
But only Fairchild Republic made the A-10

More here.


Doom said...

Dubiously hopeful. If we are going to send them in, let's send them with what they need. We ask a lot, and on balance, this is giving just a little... as usual. Still...

LL said...

If I have to fight a tough fight my preference would be to do it either in the cockpit of a Warthog or supported by them while fighting on the ground.

Steve: The Lightning Man said...

I grew up on Hogs. My grandfather worked for Fairchild and I had A-10 promo stuff in the house as a kid in the late 70s as it was brought into service. As a soldier I always loved watching them roll in outta nowhere, damn near silent, to wreak havoc.

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

We have to keep em up there.

WoFat said...

They work so well I'm shocked we still use them.

Kid said...

Yep. A10 is best at what it does and fits today's war environment. No wonder obama is trying to get it canceled.

sig94 said...

Doom - the fight to preserve our nation's strength continues. We can never give up. I think back to the Carter administration and how Reagan brought us back. We'll need much the same after Obama.

sig94 said...

LL - amen to that.

sig94 said...

Steve - I grew up on the F-105 Thunderchief when my dad worked for Republic Aviation. Then, when he worked at Grumman's, it was the F-14. That was the last plane he worked on.

jay son said...

the lighning man and i shared the same ao in west germany as well as kansas, and let me tell ya those things are quiet. they did a few simulated gun runs on my unit a couple of times in the field in deutchland, and had it not been for the air guards we never would have known they were up.

the japanese called the corsair "whispering death", and i bet their are some iraqis around who would describe the thunderbolt II the same way.

and it's really the air force who have wanted to shit can this bad boy, going back to just before the 1st gulf war.

sig94 said...

jay son - I could never understand why the AF wanted to can this bird when there was no operational replacement.

BTW, I really like the "whispering death" moniker.

jay son said...

said the F-16 Viper nee Falcon (who cooked up the "Viper" shit anyway?, could do the same mission.

fly boys like multipurpose fast tools, not real great slow plodders, capable of extreme accuracy when delivering high explosives "danger close" to front line troops, in contact.

sig94 said...

jay son - I could never understand why the increased survivability factor of the A-10 (armor, two engines) was ignored for the F-16. Do you have any info on how many Falcons were downed while flying CAS missions in comparison to the A-10's?