In the buildup to the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the U.S. Air Force did not send the A-10 "Warthog" because Air Force leadership did not want it to compete with new fighter aircraft planned for procurement ("Endangered species: 'Warthog' faces extinction as Air Force eyes Pacific," Web, Dec. 15). The "Warthog" was only deployed after theater commander Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf demanded (using some rather profane language) that it be deployed immediately. It was.
The infantry on the ground love the A-10 because it travels at 300 miles an hour rather than 500 miles an hour, and can pinpoint destruction of very specific targets with its Gatling gun and rockets. As the Times story reads, "[T]he A-10 has supplied about 25 percent of close air support to ground troops in battle over past decades, making it a lifesaver in the Persian Gulf War as well as the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts." The grunt on the ground doesn't need the glitz and speed of an F-35. He needs a "Warthog" with rockets and a Gatling gun.
JOSEPH R. FARRELL