This year Defense Department officials proposed mothballing the fleet, affectionately called the “Warthog” by U.S. troops, in order to save $3.5 billion over five years. They argued that the aircraft’s close air support mission could be carried out by other newer platforms, including the F-16 fighter and the B-1 bomber.
The idea was met with stiff, bipartisan resistance in both chambers of Congress and became one of the most controversial proposals in the Pentagon’s fiscal year 2015 budget.
Now Barber, who successfully introduced amendments to the House defense authorization and appropriations bills to keep the A-10 airborne for at least another year, recently launched a television ad touting his role in the fight to save the aircraft that’s critical to his Tucson district.
“No one has worked harder to save the A-10 aircraft than Ron Barber,” Maureen Phillips, a veteran who served as a tactical intelligence officer for A-10 missions, says in the spot.
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