A prominent lawmaker is calling for an investigation of a major general’s reported comments blasting officers as treasonous if they work with Congress against Air Force plans to retire the A-10.
Maj. Gen. James Post, vice commander of Air Combat Command, reportedly told officers at a recent meeting of the Tactics Review Board at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, that they were not to speak with Congress about the service’s attempt to retire the attack jet.
“Anyone who is passing information to Congress about A-10 capabilities is committing treason,” Post is quoted by former airman and blogger Tony Carr as saying.
Post reportedly prefaced his comments by saying “if anyone accuses me of saying this, I will deny it,” according to Carr’s “John Q. Public” blog.
Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who wants to keep the A-10 in service, has called on Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James to investigate the reported comments, McCain spokesman Dustin Walker told Air Force Times.
The A-10’s biggest supporter on Capitol Hill, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., told Air Force Times in a statement that she is “deeply disturbed” by the reported comments.[…]
Last fall, the largest group of current and retired tactical air control party airmen entered the debate, publicly calling on Congress to block the retirement of the A-10 and urging the Air Force to reconsider its plan. The group’s president, retired Master Sgt. Charlie Keebaugh, said a gathering of current and retired airmen opposed the planned cuts.
Air Force officials said last week that the proposed fiscal 2016 budget, expected to be released in early February, will attempt to cut entire fleets of aircraft again, though they would not specifically name the A-10. The move to cut the plane is driven by budget cuts, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said.
“It’s not about not liking or not wanting the A-10,” Welsh said. “It’s about some very tough decisions that we have to make to recapitalize the Air Force for the threat 10 years from now.”
The A-10, however, is the best aircraft for facing the country’s enemies now, Ayotte said. “The truth is that preventing the premature retirement of the A-10 does not aid our enemies, it perpetuates their worst nightmare,” she said.MORE