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US Air Force won’t retire A-10 Warthog amid Islamic State fight

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The US Air Force will delay retiring the A-10 — a stalwart attack aircraft beloved by ground troops — because of the ongoing fight against the Islamic State group, a military news site reported Wednesday.

Plans to postpone the mothballing will be outlined when the Pentagon submits its 2017 budget request to Congress next month, Pentagon officials speaking on condition of anonymity told Defense One.

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Developed in the 1970s, A-10s can fly low and slow, and are famed for their tank-destroying capabilities and their heavy armor that makes them difficult to shoot down from the ground.

US ground forces delight at the distinctive sound of the highly maneuverable plane’s massive cannon, which can drench a target with high-caliber firepower at a rate of about 70 rounds per second.

According to Defense One, Air Force officials have postponed immediate plans to retire the Warthog, as the plane is known, because of its utility in Iraq and Syria, where the United States is leading a coalition against IS jihadists.

The Air Force did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Senator John McCain, who heads the Senate Armed Services Committee, welcomed the report.

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“The A-10 fleet is playing an indispensable role in the fight against ISIL in Iraq and assisting NATO’s efforts to deter Russian aggression in Eastern Europe,” he said, using an alternative name for the IS group.

“With growing global chaos and turmoil on the rise, we simply cannot afford to prematurely retire the best close air-support weapon in our arsenal without fielding a proper replacement.”

The A-10’s retirement, proposed two years ago, was intended to free up cash to pay for newer planes, including the costly F-35 fighter jet.

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In October, the Pentagon announced the deployment of 12 A-10s to the air base in Incirlik in southern Turkey to support anti-IS operations in Iraq and Syria.


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Who is worse: Donald Trump or Mitch McConnell ?

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He’s maybe the most dangerous politician of my lifetime. He’s helped transform the Republican Party into a cult, worshiping at the altar of authoritarianism. He’s damaged our country in ways that may take a generation to undo. The politician I’m talking about, of course, is Mitch McConnell.

Two goals for November 3, 2020: The first and most obvious is to get the worst president in history out of the White House. That’s necessary but not sufficient. We also have to flip the Senate and remove the worst Senate Majority Leader in history.

Like Trump, Mitch McConnell is no garden-variety bad public official. McConnell puts party above America, and Trump above party. Even if Trump is gone, if the Senate remains in Republican hands and McConnell is reelected, America loses because McConnell will still have a chokehold on our democracy.

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Boris Johnson’s big election victory: What it means for the UK and Brexit

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Boris Johnson is now confirmed to have secured a big victory in the British general election. He went into the poll at the head of a minority government and has emerged with a significant majority. With just one seat left to count, his Conservative Party holds 364 seats in the 650-seat Westminster parliament – a majority of 78.

The Labour Party has suffered its worst loss in decades – and its fourth general election defeat in a row, ending up with just 203 seats. The Scottish National Party has made significant gains in Scotland and now holds 48 seats. That would appear to strengthen the case for a second Scottish independence referendum, posing another huge constitutional question for the UK.

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The dangers of depicting Greta Thunberg as a prophet

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She came from obscurity and ignited a global movement. Beginning with a small but persistent act of protest outside the Swedish parliament, she inspired millions to join her. Her fiery speech to the United Nations in September 2019 warned of the end of the world. Her unfailing determination and passion makes her appear otherworldly, even uncanny, an affect largely attributed to her diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome.

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