first published on January 14, 2016 by Will
The Air Force has halted all retirement plans for the A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog) for the foreseeable future, following a political battle between budget-minded military leaders that want more funding for the F-35 program and an alliance of politicians and service members that understand the plane’s unrivaled close air support capabilities.
The decision was made in the face of overwhelming evidence of the A-10’s usefulness as evidenced by the its current service record. The unique jet is deployed to the Korean peninsula, it’s patrolling the skies over eastern Europe as a deterrent to Russian aggression, and most notably, it is killing hundreds of ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria. You can’t argue with that.
The Warthog will eventually be pushed into retirement, but for the time being, there is nothing that can takes its place.