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Crapo Statement on Air Force Plans to Retire the A-10

Washington, D.C. -Idaho Senator Mike Crapo issued the following statement in reaction to the Air Force's announcement today that it will renew efforts to seek the divestment of the A-10 Thunderbolt II as a part of the force structure changes contained in the President's FY 2016 budget proposal:

"The Air Force's continued efforts to divest the A-10 are unacceptable," said Crapo.  "I am dismayed by the little regard the Air Force has shown for how this decision will impact the future mission of the Idaho National Guard and others like it across the country.  But, more importantly, prematurely retiring the aircraft before its replacement is fully operational puts our troops at increased risk and undermines our military readiness and capability.  The A-10 has proven effective in countless close air support missions in the last decade, including in the fight against ISIS, and to retire it now is a mistake. I will continue to oppose the decision in Congress.  Idaho's National Guard must continue to have a strong flying mission at Gowen Field and the Air Force needs to maintain its superior close air support capabilities."