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Amendment Would Allow A-10 Jets To Continue Fying At Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

Tucson Congressman Ron Barber
U.S. Democratic Congressman Ron Barber Fights to Keep Jets Flying at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

A-10 attack aircraft could continue flying temporarily at Tucson’s Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.   A key committee has approved a measure by Arizona Congressman Ron Barber that would extend A-10 funding for another year.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wants to retire the A-10 to reduce military spending.  But, Tucson officials are worried that would be a major blow to Davis-Monthan, where the jets are based.  Tucson’s mayor said the base contributes a billion dollars a year to southern Arizona’s economy.  Barber said the A-10s, which were designed to support ground troops, should stay online until the Air Force’s new F-35 fighters are ready to go.

"This is a proven platform to protect our troops in battle.  In Afghanistan the troops told me keep the A-10 flying.  There’s no other fixed wing aircraft that does the job that the A-10 can do” Barber told Congress.

The House Armed Services committee passed Barber’s amendment Wednesday night by a vote of 41-to-20.  Opponents said funding the A-10 takes money away from other defense operations that include pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan next year. 

KJZZ Senior Field Correspondent Steve Shadley is no stranger to the issues shaping Arizona.