” A large association of battlefield target spotters has written to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to oppose the planned retirement of A-10 Warthog strike jets — a debate that now encompasses the “friendly fire” deaths of five American soldiers in Afghanistan.
The A-10 endorsement from the Tactical Air Control Party Association is significant because, outside of the Warthog’s pilots themselves, perhaps no other warriors know its ability to protect ground troops under fire better than the ground controllers who guide it to enemy targets.
Some lawmakers are fighting the Air Force’s plan to scrap nearly 300 A-10s to save a projected $4.2 billion for other projects. The plane’s immediate future is in the hands of House-Senate negotiators working on a fiscal 2015 defense budget. The Senate has approved language to prevent the A-10’s retirement for another year.”
” The five fatalities occurred on June 9, when a B-1B strategic bomber — a planned replacement for the A-10 — dropped a 500-pound bomb squarely onto U.S. soldiers protecting a helicopter landing zone.
An investigation showed the flight crew lacked basic knowledge about the bomber’s sensors, which did not have the capability to detect friendly infrared strobes worn by soldiers that night. Not knowing the sensors’ limitations and not seeing any strobes, the crew unleashed the deadly bomb.”
Whatever idiots envisioned strategic bombers in a close-air support role should be fired . This decision reeks of cronyism .