5 A-10 squadrons to be cut – Air Force News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq – Air Force Times

The A-10 Thunderbolt II provides the type of close-air support that ground-pounders love and the Taliban dread. Although the A-10s are workhorses in the war on terrorism, the Air Force in its new budget request is planning to get rid of five squadrons.

As part of the Defense Department’s efforts to trim close to $500 billion in spending over the next decade, defense officials said Friday that the service intends to cut five A-10 tactical squadrons and two other squadrons as well.

The Thunderbolt squadrons to be stood down encompass one active-duty, one Reserve and three National Guard units. The remaining two squadrons disappearing are a Guard F-16 tactical unit and an F-15 training squadron.

via 5 A-10 squadrons to be cut – Air Force News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq – Air Force Times.

How many times now is this? The Air Force has hated the A-10 since the day they started the program. They’ve tried to kill it more than once, and reality keeps intruding.  But sooner or later, they’ll kill of one of the most successful platforms ever made.


11 thoughts on “5 A-10 squadrons to be cut – Air Force News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq – Air Force Times”

  1. The Air Farce has NEVER liked the A-10. They all see themselves as steely eyed fighter pilots going mano-a-mano with MiG drivers. They just hate the thought of getting a little dirty dowm in the mud with us mere mortals.

    The irony is that the A-10 is the one aircfraft that most infantrymen would prefer to be on call above them when it hits the fan.

    1. You know, I always wished that they’d come up with a navalised version of the A-10. That would have been the greatest maritime strike aircraft in the history of such things. Think of the havoc you could raise with those in an SUW role … that gun would shoot straight through both sides of most modern warships, and it would be phenomenal in CAS for Marines hitting the beach.

  2. A naval A-10 is a tad vulnerable to (just to pick an example) Chinese AAW weapons, both gun and missile. Needs some EW support, and a few more standoff weapons, and it’ll be fine. ISTR the A-10 had a cameo role in The Hunt for Red October against a Soviet battle-group.

    That 30 mm cannon would be inside gun range of all but the LCS (when we sell them to China to hobble their Navy).

    1. I’ll directly challenge that. It was designed to handle the top of the line Soviet short and medium range anti-air, and performed outstandingly against extremely heavy anti-air fire from the Iraqis in both Gulf Wars. The titanium tub the pilot sits in is proven safe from 23 and even 57mm anti-air shells, not rated… TESTED. In it’s entire operational history, I can find that five were shot down. Others sustained battle damage that caused them to be scrapped, but in each of those cases, it got the pilot home and on the ground under it’s own power.

      And what’s more, there’s not a single CAS airframe that could handle AAA better. Period. So it’s not, “well, if only it were better, the Marines could use it.” Fact is, there IS nothing better.

      Sure, I’d not want to fly one into the firing envelope of a CIWS, but name me any other airframe you’d want to do that with. And remember, we’re not talking about using it as an anti-naval unit (which is the Navy’s job, not the Marines), we’re talking CAS for Devil Dogs on the beach.

    2. I concur with Mike. The A-10 was specifically designed to operate in the most non-permissive environment around- Western Europe in the face of a Warsaw Pact onslaught.

      It’s not invulnerable, but it IS optimized for its mission, and still quite viable in a SHORAD environment.

  3. The A-10 is an excellent CAS aircraft for a permissive environment. The Air Farce has a place in providing that environment. Operating the A-10, not so much. I have to agree with not giving them to Marines. The Marines often do not have the environment to operate them, and it is not likely they will have it , given the mission they are normally charged with.

    1. I’ll challenge that one too. Outside of helos and Harriers, what Marine air units stage from anything OTHER than a flat-top or land strip? Marine Air power in WWII was almost completely based from land strips (and I’m sure at least some flew from a deck). This VTOL requirement really baffles me. Last I checked, Marine Corps Aviation currently consists solely of Harriers, Helos, some Prowlers, Ospreys, and Hornets. If the USMC doesn’t have the environment to operate A-10’s, how the hell are they supposed to operated F-18’s?

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