Georgia Congressmen Oppose A-10 Aircraft Sequestration Cuts

Three Members of Congress from Georgia have gone public with their opposition to the Department of Defense’s newly proposed budget cuts to the A-10 weapons system, specifically the A-10 Thunderbolt II. The A-10 Thunderbolt II is the US Air Force’s primary close air support aircraft. This aircraft system has also been actively used in various iconic military operations including Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. The A-10 is manufactured by the defense contractor Lockheed-Martin, a company that has a plant located in Marietta, GA.

The three Georgia Congressmen that have announced their opposition to these sequestration cuts include Senator Johnny Isakson, Senator Saxby Chambliss and Representative Austin Scott. From a joint press release:

“It’s imperative that Congress make decisions regarding the A-10 based on information we receive from our service members who have their boots on the ground,” said Chambliss. “What we have heard consistently from our men and women in uniform and experts like Master Sergeant Stamey is that the A-10 is a critical weapon system that has saved lives time and time again. While tough budgetary times have put all branches of the military in the position to make difficult decisions, Congress has a responsibility under the Constitution to ensure our troops are well-equipped and well-prepared, and the A-10 is the best weapon system we have to provide close air support.”

“The A-10 is an important mission at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Ga., and plays a crucial role in support of our national defense, said Isakson. “It’s almost as important to Moody as it is to our troops on the ground. The close air support provided by the A-10 is unmatched and unequal to anywhere else in the world, and to divest of this aircraft without an alternative ready and in place would put U.S. troops at increased risk in future conflicts.”

“With our service members deployed on multiple fronts, our military has a constant need for close air support” said Austin Scott. “As was made clear by multiple Joint Terminal Attack Control (JTAC) operators at today’s press conference, we need the very best weapons systems to protect our troops and win the fight.  Quite simply, the A-10C Warthog is the most effective aircraft for close air support, and we need it for the mission we are in now. We cannot let irrational budget policies like sequestration force us to divest one of our most valuable weapon systems and issues stand in the way of protecting our men and women in uniform.”

If you’re interested in probing more into the issue, you should probably check out Representative Austin Scott’s speech at the press conference mentioned in the above text where he speaks about his opposition to these budget cuts.

20 comments

  1. TheEiger says:

    “The three Georgia Congressmen that have announced their opposition to these sequestration cuts include Senator Johnny Isakson, Senator Saxby Chambliss and Representative Austin Scott.”

    Johnny and Saxby aren’t Congressman. Should be our two Senators and Congressman Scott oppose cuts…

    • Joash Thomas says:

      As confusing as it is, by definition, Congressmen / Congresswomen are members of both legislative chambers in the US Congress, i.e. the House of Representatives and the Senate. I appreciate the feedback though!

      • TheEiger says:

        As someone that has worked for two Congressmen and and a U.S. Senator, you are wrong. You can call them Members of Congress, yes. That would be the professional and correct way to reference all three at once. But a Senator has earned the title of Senator and should be referred to as such. I know that may be hard for you to understand.

        • MattMD says:

          What, and a Representative/Congressman/Congresswoman didn’t earn anything?

          Technically, you’re correct but it’s because we have a bicameral legislature and the terms you cite are used to distinguish between the two. I don’t have any more respect for a Senator than a Representative just because the former won a statewide election.

      • Noway says:

        Tell you what, Joash, try calling Isakson, Saxby or Perdue “Congressman” and see how fast you get your head slapped by their staff….or corrected by the Senator himself.

  2. Ghost of William F. Buckley says:

    The A-10 is one of our best and most cost-effective weapon systems. For those not familiar, check it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairchild_Republic_A-10_Thunderbolt_II.

    That said, President Eisenhower words come to mind: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”

    We will see our military LOBBYING machine (GUNS) effectively fight sequestration, which logically implies that the only other area of BUDGET CUTTING – “Entitlements,” (BUTTER) will seek to LOBBY against cuts. The Butter lobby is pretty effective as well, so in the end, Guns and Butter will probably dismantle most of sequestration’s intent.

    Sequestration, is a dinky round Band-Aid applied to a sucking chest wound. It will fail because the Congress that enacted it hasn’t got the stones to enforce it. Why should they, it is an ineffective, yet highly annoying speed bump on the highway to SPENDING. And, well, we really can’t have THAT.

    Don’t misread me here, the A-10 program may actually be the weapon system we ought to continue to budget – But in the end of it all, let it never be said that all that fuss and bother over sequestration is not worth the HOT AIR, time spent, or ‘feel-good back slapping,’ the program generated.

    I was in DC when sequestration began and recall speaking to a GA Congressman’s Chief of Staff, saying, “Well, they enacted it – they can surely choose not to follow it,” when discussing a funding issue. His facial expression was a wry and knowing smile…I knew the fix was in and that was THREE years ago.

    Smoke and Mirrors.

    Except for the jobs at the A-10 plant and the folks without a winter coat.

    {RANT Concluded}

    • Jon Lester says:

      What’s stupid is how much money we’re wasting in other areas while claiming “sequestration” in this department.

      The A-10 is a proven weapon and one with a timely job to do against IS armor. The F-22 and F-35 are technological turkeys which will almost certainly lose out on the export market to cheaper (and likely more dependable) Chinese and Russian equivalents.

  3. gcp says:

    After years of supporting wasteful military spending Chambliss/Isakson now want to continue the A-10? I guess they did not notice that the request to discontinue funding comes from the Pentagon. I will trust the Pentagon on this one.

      • Ghost of William F. Buckley says:

        Says US Air Force Col. Michael Pietrucha in the May-June issue of Air & Space Power Journal, that:

        “funds would be better spent upgrading existing F-15s, F-16s, F-22s and A-10s with the technologies and lessons learned from the F-35 program, while also taking into service those F-35s already built. Pietrucha also urged development of an exportable light-fighter project (the South Korean FA-50 is an example of the concept) to arm American allies and redevelopment of the Air Force’s electronic warfare capabilities, which rely on Navy EA-18G Growlers.”

        http://nationalinterest.org/feature/americas-f-35-coming-crash-landing-11332

          • Ghost of William F. Buckley says:

            I understand your point SEE ABOVE “Guns and Butter” and the utter fecklessness of Sequestration.

            My money is on continuation of the least cost-effective solution – Prolly looks like funding both systems, with large increases to both programs.

            • gcp says:

              Yep and unfortunately Perdue will probably continue the tradition of voting for any wasteful military spending as long as it benefits Georgia; hopefully he will prove me wrong.

              • Ghost of William F. Buckley says:

                Isn’t the First Rule, regardless of stripe, “It’s not wasteful if it is MY District?”

                The sad fact is if OUR Uncle Sam pulls State funding, en masse and across-the-board, the Great Depression would look like the Premier Sea View room here:

                http://www.fourseasons.com/dubaijb/accommodations/?c=t&_s_icmp=mmenu

                The World speeds ahead while we try to find answers to our partisan issues. When we awake, en masse, some will say, “But, we told you this XXX years ago.”

                Conversely, maybe the new crew going to WDC will ‘horse trade’ where they can.
                Maybe they will agree upon and prioritize issues of National importance. It looks bleak from the cheap seats as POTUS politically frames immigration. Step carefully, this weeks decisions may become tomorrow’s millstones.

                The idea of perpetually printing our own money, and the World flocking to us because we have the least messy back yard is not a winnable long term strategy.

    • cjw80 says:

      Your comment indicates naive thinking with regard to the Pentagon and Congress. I suggest you google “F-35 over budget”, “F-22 cut by Congress”, and you will begin to see a clearer picture. The Air Force is looking out for big blue but Congress must take a broader look and cutting a proven weapon system that was just refurbished to last till 2028 with state of the art electronics and new wings so there is money for more cost overages for a plane that won’t be war ready for 3+ years is a bad idea. Bravo Congress!

  4. seenbetrdayz says:

    It was my understanding as well that the A-10 has been one of the best ground-support jets in our Air Force. There are a few famous stories about the A-10 losing half a wing and still carrying out the mission and returning the pilot safely (well, alive anyways) back to base.

    This isn’t some super stealth plane that ends up costing a bajillion dollars because it’s cool, but later turns out not to be as useful as expected and just becomes a budget drainer we can’t get rid of.

  5. Will Durant says:

    Yeah, the A10 is cheaper, but we are talking about mothballing 20% of them. No big deal considering their part of their role has been usurped with drones and Army helicopters. Also their initial design was to take on the huge advantage the Soviets had in tanks. This is as much a service branch turf war as it is for weapons platforms. The guys in blue see a bigger future for themselves with the F-35 than with the A-10, both for their service careers and their second careers.

    As for the F-35, I’m reminded of the Israelis choice way back when on F-15s vs F-16s and while I don’t remember the exact ratio it was something like 12-1 on the money. Regardless of the F15’s greater capabilities they went with the F16 because 12 of them still beat 1 in any scenario. With weapons systems in general and specifically with planes the military always does specs requiring Superman when they really need to do Batman ones to get the right tool for the job instead. Wanting a plane that is stealthy, fast, maneuverable, and hovers is just wanting too much. Anyone wanting a good read for a non-fiction traja-comedy should read Col. James Burton’s book on the development of the Bradley fighting vehicle.

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