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March 27, 2020

The Honorable Barbara Barrett General David Goldfein

Secretary Chief of Staff
United States Air Force United States Air Force
1670 Air Force Pentagon 1670 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20330-1670 Washington, D.C. 20330-1670

Dear Secretary Barrett and General Goldfein,

I have been advised that the Air Force is planning to divest 42 A-10s at Davis Monthan Air Force Base
(DMAFB). This is of great concern to me as it will have a negative impact on our ability to support our
troops in battle, will reduce the mission at DMAFB, and bring serious harm to the economy in the
community I represent.

It is surprising to my colleagues and me on the various Congressional Defense Committees that the Air
Force is putting forth plans to divest these aircraft without a transparent process that includes first
providing us the report assessing the results of the F35-A IOT&E, and the Comptroller General of the
United States providing an independent assessment of that report, as required by the 2017 NDAA. The
2016 NDAA also required the Air Force to brief Congress on the Study on replacement capability
requirements or mission platform for the A-10 aircraft.

As you know, the A-10 aircraft is the most critical and combat-effective component of the airpower
support our country currently provides to its fighting men and women—and has proven that in four wars.
There is no evidence that any other US aircraft can match the A-10's lethal firepower against battlefield
targets, the unprecedented protection it provides to pilots, and the maneuverability that lets it fly under all
kinds of weather conditions and close enough to prevent friendly fire. When our troops are in a battle,
they want the Warthog overhead, flying low and slow and making intense noise both from its close
proximity to the battle and when its Gatling Gun fires rounds at the enemy.

Without the A-10, we currently possess no quickly deployable plane that can deliver combat-proven close
air support, airborne forward air control, and combat search and rescue for sudden emergencies ranging
from the guerrilla war in tropical jungles to repelling heavy armor thrusts on the plains of Eastern

Shutting down A-10s without providing equal or better support to the troops that fight our wars is
unconscionable. That's why keeping the entire A-10 fleet operational has been one of my top priorities
while we work towards strengthening our air superiority and building a far more capable A-10

Given that the Air Force is working on plans to divest 42 A-10s at Davis Monthan, more than half the
base's current strength, I request candid responses to the following questions:

 Because this decision will have an enormous negative impact on the Tucson economy, does
the USAF plan on repurposing our 355 Fighter Wing squadrons without reducing their

current size, or would they be relocated or substantially reduced?

 Will the 355th FW be receiving a new aircraft fleet if the Air Force shuts down its A-10
 How will this affect the approximately 450 traditional and full-time reservists, civilian and
active-duty members who are assigned to the 355 FW's A-10 maintenance squadron?

 Can you provide us the report on the "Study on replacement capability requirements or
mission platform for the A-10 aircraft" as required in the 2016 NDAA (Section 142 (e))?
 Is the USAF planning on cutting additional A-10s in FY2022? If so, what unit(s) will close
under this continuing divestment plan?
 Regarding the F-35 vs. A-10 fly off, when will Congress receive a briefing and report from
DOT&E on the results?
 How many A-10s have received the Enhanced Wing Assembly, and where are they located?
Under your proposed plan, how many more A-10s will receive these new wings?
 Please provide your maintenance/sustainment funding level and depot maintenance
throughput for the A-10 from 2017-2019.

In closing, let me be very clear. It is troublesome that these plans have been developed prior to the
required briefings to members of Congress.

I look forward to your earliest response.


Ann Kirkpatrick
Member of Congress

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