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.