“Even though we will lose CAS capacity, we are retiring the A-10 anyway” U.S. Air Force says

The U.S. Air Force has revealed that the A-10 retirement will begin in fiscal year 2018.

Taken on Feb. 26, the picture in this post shows an A-10 Warthog in action during a joint air attack team exercise at Yakima Training Center, Washington, where the “Hogs” trained alongside the AH-64 Apache helicopters deployed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., providing Close Air Support (CAS) to Soldiers with 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

Still, this kind of training will come to an end in the near future. In fact, in spite of its unmatched capabilities in the CAS role, the U.S. Air Force will soon retire its A-10 fleet.

As reported by DefenseNews.com, the service has recently revealed the number of A-10s that will be retired each year before the type is completely withdrawn from service in 2022.

The plan call for the retirement of 49 planes or 2 squadrons in fiscal year (FY) 2018. This will be followed by 49 aircraft in FY2019, 64 in FY2020, and 96 in FY2021.

During a hearing held at the House Armed Services Committee on Mar. 16 Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said that accelerating the retirement of the A-10 will help to better support the stand up of F-35 squadrons. “If we keep the A-10, by FY21 — the scheduled FOC (Final Operational Capability) date for the F-35 — we will be about 50 percent short of the maintenance manpower we need to field the F-35. So it’s a manpower problem.”

However, even though the F-35 can perform the CAS mission, it would be too expensive using the Lightning II in the A-10 role, thus leaving the problem of the Hog replacement unsolved. As explained by Welsh himself: “The F-35 is intended to the high-threat CAS platform, (with the retirement of the A-10) we are losing CAS capacity.”

Image credit: Sgt. Cody Quinn/28th Public Affairs Detachment / U.S. Army



  1. Idiots…..Hopefully if conservative becomes President they will cancel any decision to remove the A-10.

  2. give the CAS Money to the Army, Air Force doesn’t care about Army solders, they are bigger, higher ,faster, farther, and way, way more expensive.

  3. The title belies reality: “Even though we will lose CAS capacity, we are retiring the A-10 anyway” U.S. Air Force says. The USAF redefined CAS from proximity of the support platform to the proximity of the support weapon, which of course does not cover all situations, and HiStory demonstrates this time and again to which the USAF intends to be blind. Customer desires are not the concern of this service provider. Congress had to create a law to Force the USAF to support the US Army in the field because the Zoomies all want ‘to be safe’ at altitude in rarefied air, going Mach 2 with their hair on fire. The plight of the average combat soldier on the ground is NOT something to which they want to be related. Therefore, they will spend as little time as possible in that domain (below 8,000 ft). This sentiment does not describe your average “Warthog Pilot” who, in my opinion, are the REAL Knights of the Air. The drive a Bomb Truck that can absorb damage, and that is the death knell to there career aspirations.

    The USAF newly announced ‘A-X Program’ must be funded, with a Plan of Actions and Milestone. Execute USAF, and I don;t mean shoot our troops in the head. Ask the customer what they Need, then fill that need. Do not tell them what they are going to get!

  4. “A manpower problem…” Silly Air Force: show me one base that has an understaffed BX, golf course, HQ building, dining facility, financial services center, gym, or one of any other dozen feely-good, ice-cream-cone-licking programs…but the perfumed Pentagon princes don’t have enough money for aircraft maintainers. Without aircraft that fly, the USAF is just another bloated make-work welfare program.

  5. If the USAF retires the A-10 prematurely, then the Key West Agreement needs to be scraped, letting the Army provide its own fixed wing CAS.

Comments are closed.