- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The iconic A-10 Thunderbolt II is in limbo once again.

Budget request documents made available this week show 44 Warthogs — the beloved aircraft of American ground troops for decades — on the Air Force’s chopping block.

The decision continues a yearslong battle that tied to the service’s desire to make budgetary and strategic transitions favorable to its F-35A Lightning II squadrons.

Maj. Gen. John Pletcher, the deputy assistant secretary for budget at the Air Force’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Financial Management and the Comptroller at the Pentagon, said the service had already marked these A-10s for divestment last year, Military.com reported Monday.

Ironically, 2019 was also the year that over 160 A-10s Air Force Times added.” target=”_blank”>received new wings as part of a a $1.1 billion project started in 2011.

A-10 Thunderbolt II pilots with the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron were also awarded the Gallant Unit Citation for heroism during Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) in April 2019, a first for an individual squadron and just the fifth time the Air Force has given the award since its creation in 2001.

Military.com noted that 281 A-10s are currently in the Air Force’s inventory, which will theoretically allow “six of its nine A-10 combat squadrons [to operate] through 2032.”

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