Arizona's senator continues push to keep attack plane flying

WASHINGTON (GrayDC) The Air Force’s A-10 Warthog attack aircraft has been essential in aiding U.S. Troops fighting wars overseas. Arizona’s Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) spent her military career flying them and she is now using her political career to make sure it stays flying.

Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) spent her military career flying the Warthog and is now spending her political career fighting to keep it flying. (Source: Gray DC)

McSally was the first female to fly the A-10 Warthog in combat in the Middle East. She was also a commander of an A-10 squadron overseas in combat.

“So this is personal to me. I personally know how many lives the A-10 has saved,” said McSally.

McSally praises the Warthog because of its ability to strike a target.

“Deliver a lot of firepower, be very survivable if it gets a direct hit and it can loiter for long periods of time, low and slow on the battlefield,” the Arizona Senator said.

In Congress, she’s pushing for funding to keep the plane updated, making sure the wings get replaced to keep the Warthog flying.

Military experts say the A-10 has been instrumental in close air support attacks in recent years in the Middle East—supporting troops on the ground.

“The A-10 is meant to destroy things on the ground. It’s incredibly good at that,” said Richard Aboulafia, a military aviation analyst.

The airplane is getting old and needs to be replaced with a more advanced plane. Doug Birkey with the Air Force Association says the Air Force will have to start working now to develop a new model.

“Aircraft take a long time to design, develop, etc. And then you gotta put it through initial testing to make sure it works properly and then you build the thing. And it takes years to populate an entire fleet, so that is a long period of time,” said Birkey.

Experts say that next generation attack plane will really depend on the future conflicts the U-S might face around the world.

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