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Grounding A-10s will save $4.2 billion, decision ‘clear’: USAF general
Flight Global ^ | 4/23/14 | Jon Hemmerdinger

Posted on 04/23/2014 6:29:07 PM PDT by Yo-Yo

For months, US Air Force officials have used the adjective “hard” to describe their decision to ground entire fleets of aircraft in response to budget cuts.

But on 23 April, USAF chief of staff Gen Mark Welsh says a review of the service’s options showed “very clearly” that grounding its Fairchild Republic A-10s is the right choice.

Speaking at a National Press Club event in Washington, DC, Welsh says the service evaluated a number of cost-cutting options against a “very detailed operational analyses” before making decisions.

“We came very clearly to the conclusion that of all those horrible options, the least operationally impactful was to divest the A-10,” Welsh says. “It makes perfect sense from a military perspective if you have to make these kind of cuts.”

The service’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal, which requires Congressional approval, proposes grounding all of its roughly 300 A-10s at a savings Welsh estimates to be $4.2 billion through fiscal year 2019.

The service has said other aircraft can fill the A-10’s close-air support mission, including Lockheed Martin F-16s and F-35s.

The USAF also considered deferring more planned orders for Lockheed Martin F-35As, but Welsh says that option would drive up the cost of the programme. He adds that the service intends to continue funding other next-generation programmes like the Boeing KC-46 tanker and the long-range strike bomber programme.

Another choice was to cut the fleet of Boeing F-15C fighters beyond the current 51 aircraft on the chopping block.

“We are cutting F-15Cs, but we can’t eliminate the entire fleet or we can’t do the air superiority mission,” he says.

Reductions in funding for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions and for the service’s air mobility fleet were also considered, but Welsh says those missions already face a budget shortfall.

Also on the table: grounding the entire fleet of McDonnell Douglas KC-10 tankers.

“Without the KC-10s, you could [do the job] but it would be ugly and you would not have any flexibility whatsoever,” Welsh says. “The impact of that was simply too big on all the services.”

The same savings could be achieved by cutting three times as many Boeing KC-135 tankers.

“If you take three times as many KC-135s, you flat can’t do the job,” according to Welsh.

Other options included cutting command and control funding or grounding some long-range strike aircraft.

But Welsh says the USAF is the only service that can provide command and control on a “theatre scale”, and he says the US needs 80 to 100 strike platforms in the event of a large-scale war.

“That’s about how many we have today. They are aging, but we have the right number,” according to Welsh.

The USAF has created a transition plan that Welsh says would move other “hardware” into units that currently fly A-10s, but he did not elaborate.

“If we don’t divest the A-10s from those units, the plan will come unraveled…and we will start the planning over again,” he says.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: a10; aerospace
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Hey General, you could save even more money if you just shut down the whole USAF.

The Air Force made the same bonehead move with the EF-111A and the F-111F right after the Gulf War. Both platforms performed magnificently, then were retired in order to save money for the F-22.

We modernized and re-winged the A-10s to A-10C standard, and they have been invaluable in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now they want to kill them off to save money for the F-35.

See what getting rid of the Varks did for the F-22 program? SQUAT.

Can you guess what getting rid of the A-10 will do for the F-35?

Remind me again what is the definition of insanity?

1 posted on 04/23/2014 6:29:08 PM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: Yo-Yo

Wasn’t the A-10 designed with the cold war in mind?

And now our government is desperately trying to get the cold war going again.


2 posted on 04/23/2014 6:32:45 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Yo-Yo

No!! we are broke. We gave it all to parasites. There is no more money CUT CUT CUT!!


3 posted on 04/23/2014 6:35:08 PM PDT by SADMILLIE
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To: Yo-Yo
The fighter mafia has ALWAYS hated the A-10.

No F-16 can loiter like an A-10 can.

Move the A-10s to the Army.

I say that as a former zoomie.

/johnny

4 posted on 04/23/2014 6:35:16 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Yo-Yo

Cutting food stamps by 5% would save how much??


5 posted on 04/23/2014 6:37:56 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: Yo-Yo; blueyon; KitJ; T Minus Four; xzins; CMS; The Sailor; ab01; txradioguy; Jet Jaguar; ...

Active Duty ping.


6 posted on 04/23/2014 6:38:20 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Resist in place.)
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To: Yo-Yo

Will they warehouse them in Nevada? I imagine you could kill a lot of cattle with one of those ...


7 posted on 04/23/2014 6:38:41 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: cripplecreek

Fundamental transformation indeed.


8 posted on 04/23/2014 6:39:18 PM PDT by bicyclerepair (The zombies here elected alcee hastings. TERM LIMITS ... TERM LIMITS)
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To: JRandomFreeper

The Army/Marines should take the A-10 until the drone version is flying. There is no bird in the inventory that can do close air support like the hog.


9 posted on 04/23/2014 6:39:55 PM PDT by volunbeer
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To: GeronL

Do we deduct the riot damages from the savings?


10 posted on 04/23/2014 6:40:09 PM PDT by Farmer Dean (stop worrying about what they want to do to you,start thinking about what you want to do to them)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Agreed.

I’ve worked F-15Es, F-16C/Ds, they’re great fighters, but cannot beat the A-10 in terms of the CAS role. Sure they can get there fast, but they can’t stay long. All of the former A-10 Crew Chiefs I’ve know have given that airframe praise for its ease of maintenance.

I used to jokingly call the A-10 a “Dyke Plane” when I was an Airman. In truth it has always been a favorite of mine.

Retiring it is a huge mistake.


11 posted on 04/23/2014 6:41:28 PM PDT by Antihero101607
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To: Yo-Yo

I suggest that a minimum they let the Army pay to keep them in mothballs. That way we’ll have them when WE HAVE TO HAVE THEM AGAIN.

Anybody who thinks we’ve seen the last of dirty, low tech war is crazy, And ask any of the guys that have been on the ground what they most want to see in the air!


12 posted on 04/23/2014 6:42:12 PM PDT by I cannot think of a name
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To: Yo-Yo

The USAF has always tried cutting the mighty A-10 for a long time. The main reason seems to be that they don’t find the A-10 “sexy” because it’s old-school technology and the USAF loves all the modern bells and whistles with newer planes. It’s a shame as the A-10 has proven itself again and again, and the pilots who fly them love them. Sad.


13 posted on 04/23/2014 6:42:25 PM PDT by rightwingerpatriot
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To: Yo-Yo

I believe I read a retired General/Admiral saying that you could agree with Obama’s Social Engineering in the Military or you could retire. I hope we still have a Military when Obama vacates the WH. If he ever does.


14 posted on 04/23/2014 6:42:32 PM PDT by originalbuckeye (Moderation in temper is always a virtue; moderation in principle is always a vice. Paine)
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To: JRandomFreeper

I think the Specter gun ships could probably do most of the A-10’s jobs but they sure look to me like they are just huge targets flying around in circles.

I am sure they have defenses but I wonder what they could be. I often hear them flying around at dusk or night. They have a very distinctive sound.


15 posted on 04/23/2014 6:43:10 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: Yo-Yo

The F-35 is too expensive an aircraft to use for tank busting and close air support.


16 posted on 04/23/2014 6:44:25 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: JRandomFreeper

An F-16 also can’t get one engine and half a wing blown off and return to base.


17 posted on 04/23/2014 6:44:35 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: originalbuckeye

I don’t think he will in my lifetime.

And my actuarial life expectancy at this point is probably 20 years.


18 posted on 04/23/2014 6:46:22 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: Yo-Yo

The Air Force has always hated close air support, passionately. All of the guiding lights of air power have relentlessly pushed long range interdiction and strategic air but all but ignored direct support of infantry (while energetically opposing any move by the army to get their own fixed wing CAS).

The A-10 was a surprising break from this mind-set but with its elimination, the Air Force is back to where it wants to be. Poor dam army will have to beg for CAS from the navy and Marines from here on.


19 posted on 04/23/2014 6:46:52 PM PDT by Chainmail (A simple rule of life: if you can be blamed, you're responsible.)
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To: JRandomFreeper
A-10 Warthog Multiple Strafing Runs in Iraq
20 posted on 04/23/2014 6:49:42 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Yo-Yo

I for one support this move. The A10 hog is one of the most effective close air support planes ever made. Given that Obama et al define US as the enemy, taking it out of service is OK with me.


21 posted on 04/23/2014 6:57:24 PM PDT by piytar (The predator-class is furious that their prey are shooting back.)
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To: Yo-Yo

“The service has said other aircraft can fill the A-10’s close-air support mission, including Lockheed Martin F-16s and F-35s.”

A screwdriver makes for a very poor hammer, General. The A-10 is most definitely a hammer.


22 posted on 04/23/2014 6:58:05 PM PDT by Tallguy
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To: I cannot think of a name

Better than nothing, I suppose. But the CAS mission is one that requires A LOT of practice. You can’t just dust the aircraft off & put any old pilot on the stick. Bad things can happen — to our own troops.


23 posted on 04/23/2014 7:01:03 PM PDT by Tallguy
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To: yarddog

Not really. The Spectre gunships (AC-130) is very vulnerable to ManPads and even AAA. It needs to be flown in what is known as a “permissive environment”. The A-10 because it maneuvers on the deck and has a lot of lift for tight banking can evade a lot of that stuff, or survive a hit.

One of the reasons that they adapted the big cannon into the Spectre was that the mini-guns were too short in range and the plane needed a better stand-off weapon to avoid the radar control guns (ZSU-23/4).


24 posted on 04/23/2014 7:05:12 PM PDT by Tallguy
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To: Jet Jaguar


25 posted on 04/23/2014 7:13:21 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: DuncanWaring

An Israeli F-15 made it back to base with an entire wing missing. I saw a picture of it and boy, it was hard to believe he flew that thing back.

The thing that allowed him to do it was part of the fuselage is also wing like so it was getting a lot of lift even after the wing was gone.


26 posted on 04/23/2014 7:21:27 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: SADMILLIE

We need to bring back all the jobs we sent to China.

Now.

Last year America imported 440 billion dollars worth of everything just from China.

Last year China imported just 122 billion dollars worth of stuff from America.

This has gone on now through two entire administrations. An entire generation.

Bring back American jobs.

STOP IMPORTING EVERYTHING.


27 posted on 04/23/2014 7:26:59 PM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html#2013)
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To: Tallguy

I once taped two A-10s flying around for 20 minutes. The camera I was using used those mini VHS cassets and only ran for 20 minutes.

I still have that tape but it requires a VHS adapter then you play it in a VHS player.

They were a marvel to watch. Reminded me a whole lot of crop dusters. They actually looked to me like they would also be a little vulnerable to ground fire or whatever. I know they are built to withstand a lot.


28 posted on 04/23/2014 7:28:06 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: yarddog

I’ve seen that picture. A-6 collision, as I recall.


29 posted on 04/23/2014 7:37:49 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Bingo ... fast fly boys do not like the lumbering but efficient A10, however troops on the ground love the close fire support rather than the high flying “dual purpose” aircraft.


30 posted on 04/23/2014 7:42:36 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (Watching MSM news readers pimping His Arrogance is like watching a dog eat its own vomit!)
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To: RetiredTexasVet

If you can’t get Puff, then an A10 is next best.


31 posted on 04/23/2014 7:43:24 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (Watching MSM news readers pimping His Arrogance is like watching a dog eat its own vomit!)
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To: DuncanWaring

I knew it involved a collision but can’t remember the details.


32 posted on 04/23/2014 7:45:04 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: Yo-Yo
Give the A-10s to the Ukrainians to put fear into the Russian troops.
33 posted on 04/23/2014 7:53:53 PM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: The Great RJ

The Russians had a plane in WWII which was somewhat like the A-10. It was the Stormovik. It was heavily aromored and deadly on tanks.

When Erich Hartmann the all time ace of aces first tried to shoot one down his bullets just bounced off. The other pilots took the young man aside and told him how to shoot one down.

I think it involved getting below the Stormovic and shooting from under and behind it.


34 posted on 04/23/2014 8:09:36 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: The Great RJ

Very good idea.


35 posted on 04/23/2014 8:14:30 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Resist in place.)
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To: Yo-Yo
A general who has his eye on an additional star,no doubt.
36 posted on 04/23/2014 8:16:46 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Stalin Blamed The Kulaks,Obama Blames The Tea Party)
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To: cripplecreek
Wasn’t the A-10 designed with the cold war in mind?

And now our government is desperately trying to get the cold war going again.

Funny how that works...

the Acquisition Mafia at it again.

37 posted on 04/23/2014 8:18:37 PM PDT by TADSLOS (The Event Horizon has come and gone. Buckle up and hang on.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

I agree move the Hogs to the army so they n protecxt themselves,


38 posted on 04/23/2014 8:36:11 PM PDT by mcshot (..."And this too shall end.")
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To: Yo-Yo

Cost: US invaded and conquered by mortal enemy communists.
Benefit: Saved $4 billion.

Sounds like an excellent Cost/Benefit ratio to me.


39 posted on 04/23/2014 8:53:28 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Gay State Conservative

He’s a four star. No more available.


40 posted on 04/23/2014 8:57:14 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Resist in place.)
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To: yarddog
Wow, hadn't heard of that story. It's on Wikipedia, second item...

List of F-15 losses

1983 Negev mid-air collision – On 1 May 1983, during an Israeli Air Force training dogfight, an F-15D collided with an A-4 Skyhawk. Unknown to pilot Zivi Nedivi and his copilot, the right wing of the Eagle was sheared off roughly two feet (60 cm) from the fuselage. The F-15 entered a controllable spin after the collision. Zivi decided to attempt recovery and engaged afterburner to increase speed, allowing him to regain control of the aircraft. The pilot was able to prevent stalling and maintain control because of the lift generated by the large horizontal surface area of the fuselage, the stabilators and remaining wing areas. The F-15 landed at twice the normal speed to maintain the necessary lift, and its tailhook was torn off completely during the landing during a failed attempt at using the emergency arresting gear installed on the runway to bring the aircraft to a halt. Zivi managed to bring his F-15 to a complete stop approximately 20 ft (6 m) from the end of the runway. He was later quoted as saying "(I) probably would have ejected if I knew what had happened."

Also at NO WING F15.

41 posted on 04/23/2014 9:02:27 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: JRandomFreeper
The fighter mafia has ALWAYS hated the A-10. No F-16 can loiter like an A-10 can. Move the A-10s to the Army.

Ask the grunts on the ground if they want and F-16 or F-18 or an A-10 in the air when they are in deep sh-t. The A-10 is so revered by the Army they have one on display at Fort Hood. The grunts love the A-10. They know that slow, ugly piece of aluminum will drop some really bad stuff on the bad guys that are up close and personal.

42 posted on 04/23/2014 9:07:30 PM PDT by cpdiii (Deckhand, Roughneck, Mud Man, Geologist, Pilot, Pharmacist THE CONSTITUTION IS WORTH DYING FOR!)
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To: JRandomFreeper
The fighter mafia has ALWAYS hated the A-10... Move the A-10s to the Army.

Marine infantry does not trust anyone but Marine Air for close air support. The A-10 and its pilots are great, but USAF leadership hates CAS and is unreliable. The Army should take the A-10s if the Air Force doesn't want them.

43 posted on 04/23/2014 9:11:55 PM PDT by Always A Marine
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To: Yo-Yo

Well totally disbanding the military would save a big chunk too.


44 posted on 04/23/2014 9:19:34 PM PDT by Usagi_yo
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To: cripplecreek

The A10 is a ground support aircraft. Currently very effective against the Taliban. Infantry love the A-10.


45 posted on 04/23/2014 9:22:38 PM PDT by Pelham (If you do not deport it is amnesty by default.)
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To: rightwingerpatriot

As a casual observer,it seems to me that what they are trying to do with the A-10 is a lot like what automotive”geniuses” are trying to do with some of the new cars. Take a proven performer & replace it with something that costs more,has more bells & whistles,& is less reliable or effective. It was always my understanding that the A-10 was an excellent,well proven aircraft that was a scarey sight to our enemies.


46 posted on 04/23/2014 9:27:34 PM PDT by oldtech
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To: yarddog

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BP8fRbuadA


47 posted on 04/23/2014 9:35:32 PM PDT by Pelham (If you do not deport it is amnesty by default.)
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To: yarddog

BLUF - if you can not break Mach 1; pull G’s until your eyes blur, and look high speed on the ramp the AF doesn’t want you.

CAS wins wars, like it or not. You win wars by taking territory away from your enemy and holding on to it. We tried something else in Vietnam; 58,000 plus names on a war tells me that what we did there was wrong. Saigon is now Ho Chi Min City.

For the last 12 plus years the fighters have had a floor below which they aren’t supposed to go. Specter and the Hogs lived, fought, supported, and survived well below that floor.

BTW - the F-16 need to be re-engined - flying all of those air born alerts CONUS under Operation Noble Eagle burned up the engines and airframes.

BTW - when is the first wing of F-35s going to be operationally ready? I mean the latest slip not the one sold to Congress.

What are our grunts supposed to do in the mean time when things turn to heck and the ground fight is danger close?


48 posted on 04/23/2014 10:26:32 PM PDT by Nip (BOHEICA and TANSTAAFL - both seem very appropriate today.)
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To: Yo-Yo

LM can’t make any profit supporting ground troops. The generals want nice jobs at LM after the Army. For dead soldiers LM won’t pay much. All taxpayer will pay a small pension for the widow.


49 posted on 04/24/2014 12:48:50 AM PDT by MHalblaub ("Easy my friends, when it comes to the point it is only a drawing made by a non believing Dane...")
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To: Always A Marine
The Army would take the A-10, but it needs to come with the support package (arming, maintenance, refueling, etc), the AF is not going to give up that force structure.
50 posted on 04/24/2014 3:33:46 AM PDT by where's_the_Outrage? (Held my nose to vote.)
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