Senator Lifts Hold on Air Force Nominee

Senator Lifts Hold on Air Force Nominee

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., has released her hold on President Obama’s pick for Air Force secretary put in place weeks ago due to her concerns about the services’ plan to retire the A-10 Warthog plane.

Air Force officials have been working to provide responses to A-10-related questions raised at a Sept. 19 confirmation hearing for Deborah Lee James, Obama’s nominee for Air Force secretary.

It appears the service’s answers to the questions have satisfied Ayotte.

“Senator Ayotte has released her hold on Deborah Lee James’ nomination following a careful review of responses from the Air Force regarding potential plans to retire the A-10,” officials with Sen. Ayotte’s office told Military​.com in a written statement. “The Senator remains concerned that prematurely retiring the A-10 could put our troops at risk, and she will continue to engage with the Air Force and Pentagon officials in order to ensure our ground forces have the close air support they need to accomplish their missions and return home safely.”

Obama nominated James to succeed Acting Air Force Secretary Eric Fanning, who stepped in after Michael Donley retired.

“Senator Ayotte supports Ms. James’ nomination and looks forward to working with her once she is confirmed,” Ayotte’s office stated.

Air Force leaders have said they plan to retire the A-10 because of budget restraints and the aircraft’s limited performance in contested airspace. The service plans to replace the A-10 with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the F-16 fighter jets.

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The F-35 program is a failure. Cancellation of the A-10 is a grave mistake. What are going to send to NK when they launch their invasion?
We can have a more powerful military for less money, but not with this President and not with this GOP and with these left wingers. Russia wants to sell the T-50 to multiple nations. The F-35 will not cut it for the USAF or any of our allies. It needs to be cancelled. Keep the A-10. Restart production of an upgraded F-22 or quickly develop the FXX.
Cancel the LCS, go down to 8 Carriers and build 5 Virginia-class submarines/yr instead with a goal of 100 attack submarines. And by the way, why does France have supersonic cruise missiles and we don’t. We are becoming a GLobal Zero.
I guess it is true: disarmament by F-35.

Another politician done it by political pressure.….are there no backbones anywhere in DC?

the only thing you go wrong superrapter was saying to “go down to 8 Carriers” that would be a bigger
mistake than keeping the F-35 going

What you saying is that we only need 4 carriers because that all we’ll have to use at any given time if we reduce the number down to 8 as you suggest, due to maintenance, training, rotations, etc.

Well the flat tops have become big juicy targets and will not survive in a future conflict
Subs however can survive
Hopefully when a new administration takes over in 2016 our attack subs will carry nukes again, a great added deterrence

Good, I see not the necessity for this weapon, let me explain. Sure, it is THE BEST platform for CAS in the US arsenal right now, bar none. But you have to understand US brass will NEVER do a full scale invasion and occupation of ANY country anymore, regardless of what happens. Only small police actions/ punitive expeditions. Incredible stupid wars like Iraq and Astan are NO LONGER tolerated by the world population/countries and neither by the US population. The 20th century is over, and those 2 were the ugly final reminders of it. From now on, the US will stand down and shrink to a more sustainable size (militarily and influentally). A new world order is upon us, with Asia and Europe emerging again. We are indeed your friends, but they aren’t. And when the Dollar becomes more a North American currency instead of a world reserve currency, you better be adjusting to 150 billion defense budgets yearly. These days are over soon, you’ll either have to tax the rich highly and highly, or shrink defense highly. Because your population will NOT accept poverty to pay for the military. Look at Russia/Soviet Union as a precursor. It won’t be that bad, but the monkey has to go back into it’s cage.

I can’t believe that the President has appointed Deborah James as Air Force Secretary!! Is it because she went to Columbia University? Look at the Defense company she came from…SAIC… for crying out loud! Her company has several government contracts terminated, her company is being sued by cities and states over fraud… her company had to change its name to LIEDOS to avoid more negative hits. What was the president thinking???? She should with draw her self from this nomination. For the sake of the AIR FORCE. Her company had a Air Force contract that went form $30 million to over $110 MILLION BEDCAUSE OF COST OVER RUNS AND THIS IS WHO WILL BE RUNNING THE AIR FORCE! CHECK THE sec FILINGS UNDER liedos AND SEE THE FACTS PRESENTED TO HER SHAREHOLDERS

Has there ever been?

North Korea may invade South Korea and we will have lost our premier tank killer, the A-10. The US (us) will be blown from the world stage,de-americanized, to use the words from a recent Chinese editorial. Get ready

SecDef Hagel needs to bring in a special team to help him bring the bloated DOD Bureaucracy under control. History has shown and smart CEOs know that those within the organization will be biased and never get it done. The idea of bringing back Donley and Flourney are great ideas. These leaders have gone thru the process before and know how to do it right. In this time of budget increases tightening it looks like the pentagon “leaders” don’t know how to do it. I read that they will abandon the trillion dollar inventories and let it rust but keep hundreds of thousands of acquistion personnel and suporting consultants on board. It doen’t make sense that we keep hundreds of thousands of paid positions while the fleet goes un maintained. It is time for the evergrowing tree of the Pentagon to get trimmed back to size. SInce 911 the pentagon added tens of thousands of civilians. WHY?

Where do I start?

You do realize that you just proposed to rein in bureaucracy by… forming a committee?

Bureaucracy is not the problem. Failure to do fundamental resource and systems analysis is the problem, and you can’t force the services to do it right if they don’t want to. The reams of required paperwork associated with any acquisition are all in response to persistent bad behavior by the services; they have only themselves to blame.

You don’t get it do you? It’s perhaps easier to see as an outsider. America CAN NOT uphold all those silly ‘promises’ and treaties it made during it’s hegemony days. Would you EXPENDS jimmy’s and jack’s for lao’s and tao’s in korea? Even if China invaded JAPAN and killed 10k US Marines, you would NOT go to war. Those things are unthinkable right now, so let’s just calm all the way down and cut defense spending. The ONLY wars big powers ever fight are proxy wars with littler countries, and even THAT is impossible from now on. So at best we’ll see intelligence agency meddling in elections etc, and perhaps arming rebels etc or at BEST a little small landing and some bombing raids. Even a Somalia-like mission of the early 90’s is NOT doable anymore.

What the devil is this, National Geographic? Another Penguin joins the flock! A flightless bird guiding the Air Force. Hysterical! Another political appointee that will drive up cost to pad theit retirement nest. Same old .…

And fixed bases aren’t?? The DF-21 may be scary but it is far from proven in any environment especially one with Standard Missile.

Also it has sort of become a money contest between F-35C (&B) versus Carriers. With F-35 consuming more and more of the budget we may have to reduce carrier numbers to afford the program. I think we are on or way to becoming (notso) Great Britain with regard to our military cabability.

Apparently you haven’t noticed that European military capacity has shrunk dramatically. Even when the Europeans decided to take out Gaddafi in their own back yard, they needed the US to destroy the Libyan air defenses for them and provide battlefield intelligence. Doing a bit of projecting I think.

Concerned European … Before you start leading us in a chorus of Kumbaya, consider that If world peace has ever truly existed, it would be an anomalous and very temporary condition.

I’m a wee bit confused, if I read the article correctly it states; “Air Force leaders have said they plan to retire the A-10 because of budget restraints and the aircraft’s limited performance in contested airspace.” If I’m not mistaken, the A-10 was originally developed to counter Soviet and Eastern Block armored forces invading Western Europe in an extremely contested airspace. So how about putting a hold on some new office furniture for the Pentagon and Wing Commander’s offices to afford this vital aircraft.

Fixed bases in the Pacific are very juicy targets which makes nuclear subs ideal. We should forget about forward based with the baby seal F-35, and invest in long range strike platforms which can safely operate from the continental US

Find it dum to replace a pure CAS plane with a lighter less heavy lifting fighter bomber and the JSF is a pure waste of time. A-10 holds more bombs and missiles and is meant to protect ground forces the Falcon and Lighting hold less ordence and have WAY WAY less loiter time. We wil NOT fight a war any time soon where front line troops would be contested air space none of our past conflicts since Kuwait in 91, even then the A-10 did very well in combat in contested air space. If the brass kills the Thunderbolt for a a over priced less capable stealth little fighter like JSF its shows the corruption at the DoD and the need to fire generals who are career politicians with no real combat experience. Face it like the Tomcat retirement in 07 when it was suppose to be 2014 shows they will kill any effective weapon to serve there pet projects. I say fire all these morons.

Like I said there lying to get there pet project the failed JSF to get more funds and need when it a flop. Wish the blogger here would realize that instead of kissing up to these imbaciles.

This POTUS has little to do with the defense acquisition process, which by even the most generous measure is the worst on the planet. The US taxpayers get the lousiest deal (by far) per defense dollar spent than any other nation — and it was that way LONG before Obama took office (just as the deep economic damage done to this nation occurred during the two terms of George W Bush, who inherited an $800B annual budget surplus), or the mean old liberals got elected to congress (after all — everything is their fault!).

We’d all be better off if we simply extirpated the current system and replaced it with one similar to that used by the British. Failing that, in return for continued funding, all major departments in the DoD should have to agree to be put under a form of receivership.

We probably need to cut F-35 in half at least. If we could accelerate F-X or F/A-XX we could kill it all together. I totally agree that the LRS-B is THE most critical need to projecting power in the Pacific AOR. Too many DMPI to take care of with 2 bombs per F-35 sortie, the limited reach, and export friendly stealth of the F-35. Not to mention the lmiited A/A capability of the F-35 which will mean we won’t command the skies with air dominance.

My friend, how can you say the ‘f-x’ and ‘f/a xx’ should be ‘accelerated’ when Amercia has the utmost difficulty building even the JSF and the ATF??? You just think powerpoint logic. America can NOT build anything more ‘advanced’ than that. Only you ENGINE makers are proven to handle it (GE and now more so P&W) They have the tech and keep investing in tech. So they can walk the walk. Those satanists at Lockheed and Boeing can only walk the walk (powerpoint). Which is why sadly a huge and once tech advanced nation like the US can’t even produce a TRAINER!!!!!!!! Brazil, slum country can. Italy (those fix it again tony’s) can. But the US? No, so please keep those 6/7/8/9th gen Uber Stealth powerpoint fighters to yourself. Try getting the f35 matured first.

I agree, our military (combined or apart is CRAP). I didn’t project. You see, you Americans were once smart and withheld from going on idiotic overseas adventures. Your founders were all about that. Remember also the famous proverb: when goods don’t cross borders, boots WILL. Us Europeans taught the world, including you, how to invade/meddle/interfere with other nations for personal gain. But after a couple hundred even thousand years we’ve learned it when we destroyed our beautiful continent in ww2. Now we adhere to that proverb: invest in yourself and sell the best goods, all will fall into place. Even conflicts will end that way. You guys are blind if you don’t see that your intestines are rotting to the core. That means there won’t be much left TO defend/interests to protect. You guys ‘opened up’ Iraq without even much gain, all went to the Chinese and the Europeans. Can you see what I’m getting at here?

I would imagine you are grateful that the US went on its “idiotic overseas adventure” from 1942–1945. As for “intestines rotting to the core” there are currently at least seven European nations experiencing economic collapse or teetering on the brink: Greece, Crete, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland and Slovakia and the Baltic republics are not looking so good either. France is not far behind, nor is the UK. By comparison the US is in far better shape.
As far as living in peace and selling the best goods, I suppose you would have to overlook that small unpleasantness a dozen or so years back in the Balkans. And again it was the US, in another “idiotic overseas adventure,” that ended the European ethnic cleansing bloodbath.
I say this not to denigrate Europe. A stable and prosperous Europe is a very good thing and not just for Europeans. But something about glass houses and being careful with stones might apply.

actually America still can build things, see the new Chrysler 300, better than the E class Mercedes at half the price. If you would tell Boeing that if they self-funded the FXX project, and can stick to price and performance specifications, you then would purchase their plane without a phony competition, they actually would get it done in no time. The political will to excel is not there on part of our dear leader, that’s the problem.

Your last sentence completely destroys your credibility. I urge you to read your country’s history and policital choices by each party and come back to me more informed. Anyway, yes your automakers are capable and coming back! And I love that. Now as for your aviation… Hope they can stage the comeback the automakers are doing instead of going the way of your shipbuilding:(

No I know you are right. But ww2 is much more complex then what you describe, and the US’ role in it might be overplayed by many. Even though I am highly grateful you chipped in and helped liberate us. See, the US had only 1 really silly war and that’s the civil war. You were a nation doing great compared to the rest of the world, innovating and trading and manufacturing. And indeed, it’s pathetic our military ‘capabilities’, but what I mean by US silly endeavours, I mean afgh and Iraq, Vietnam etc. Nonsensical wars purely to help a few and the silly plans of a few. You can’t plan something while blocking out the probable negative consequences. You must plan honestly, and every blind man could foresee a decade or more of unrest in Iraq. If you guys had spend those 2/3 trillion dollars on education and infrastructure etc, ‘China’s Rise’ would have been a lot more contained than it is now. See, the Asiatic hordes ARE investing in those things instead of warring.

No wonder you’re confused, you’ve been led astray by myths (part 1).
“Within the limited context of South Vietnam, where the threat was relatively low and the quality of air resources high, there was a high demand for CAS, leading to the development of an aircraft specifically designed to perform the “South Vietnam CAS mission.” The result was the Air Force A-X program and its product, the A-10 “Warthog,” a point design for the Vietnam CAS mission.
After Vietnam, the Army focus returned to Central Europe, and the Vietnam-unique CAS requirement was replaced by the need for a tank buster….

(Part 2) … In order to provide the now deployed A-10 with some measure of survivability in an extremely high threat, Central European wartime environment, the “Warthog” was modified with an inertial navigation set, electronic countermeasures capability and a radar warning receiver. Additionally, low-altitude tactics were developed in an effort to make the aircraft more survivable.
The A-10 never was the optimum solution for CAS in a high-threat environment. It was a low-threat CAS aircraft, modified to meet the Army requirements of the time. Because of these limitations, well known within the Air Force, the A-10 was never envisioned as the only CAS asset to be used in a future conflict.” Military Review ‚June 1989, p. 54. on about those “Asiatic hordes” 160k+ @ US grad schools as we speak! & if current population growth continues…they will be in need of one “Raw Material” real bad.….in about 25–30 years.…… FOOD!

Yes the airplane did very well in Iraq. That was due to the rest of the Air Force taking out their offensive capability. In order to keep the A-10 in service it will require to spend more money on refurbishing and upgrading the ECM/Avionics systems on the plane. To spend that kind of money on an aging platform does not seem feasible for the future Air Force.

The Air Force is going thru big hits on projects and the acquisition process for the F-22, F-35, CV-22 have shown to be poorly managed and take huge amounts of money to be funded. This is what needs to be investigated, why does the Air Force have to pay for defective aircraft such as the above mentioned aircraft?

Because those aircraft are providing job for the voters in certain states. Jobs means votes to a politician. And a happy politician means power to the air force in the pentagon wars.

In the near future, if not now, the South Koreans will be able to handle N. Korea on thier own. That is, PROVIDED China doesn’t jump into the mix. Who deters China? We do. What do we do it with? HINT: not the A-10. Like it or not, we need the 5th gen fleet to deter high-end adversaries like China. If we could afford both, we’d buy both…but we can’t, so we won’t. The REAL reason this is such a political fracus is because almost half of the A-10 fleet is in the ARC, and that means the loss of jobs in Congressional districts.

The US Air Force has NOTHING to equal the A-10 aircraft, and what it is designed to accomplish in combat, as a ground support air machine… I really had a good laugh when I read what the brain thrusts plan to replace the A-10 with.… These are the same nitwits that have bogged down all of our military leaders at every turn since Korea was a lost battle.…. we still suffer from that “final” political decision…Get the hell of out the military business and stick to the political scenes.… you were famous for getting us into a war, now you also are responsible for us losing those wars… Why sacrifice anymore lives?

Go to 8 Carriers…are you nuts! The first thing any CIC or SECDEF asks is where is the nearest carrier. He doesn’t ask where is the nearest Air Force Base?????????????????

8 carriers would require some very quick refueling, or very expedited RCOH.

American’s are too myopic. They have become the Grecian democracy our founder’s despised and don’t believe history existed before us. Every civilization that has used war / military as a means of power have ALL FAILED, time and time again, yet our BABY COUNTRY (USA) that has barely been in existence all of 226 years believes it can do what all the previous civilizations, empires, countries and religious crusaders tried and failed to do over centuries, e.g., Rome, Sparta, Greece, England, Ottoman, etc.. American’s have lost sight of the Declaration of Independence, Revolution, US Constitution, and Federal Republic created by very smart men, although not perfect, were acutely aware of these military dangers they tried darn hard to prevent us from repeating them.…like the saying goes “a form of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again, yet expecting a different result.”

Our country is unable to adapt to the TIMES—majority of countries are no longer playing war, as they have for the most part grown out of this stage, matured, and are focusing on industry while we’re going BACKWARDS by killing ants with billion dollar sledgehammers! Really, a rag tag group of 12 Saudi’s were able to dismantle buildings on our shore for less than mil, and blow up billions in military equipment and thousands of soldiers with $40 cell phones! So one must ask, who’s smarter than who?

I agree. A strong non-DoD qualitative and quantitative quality assurance and control team needs to go through every single office/dept., in every agency, to weed out the waste that has been draining the pockets of taxpayers for too long. I tried and failed, as those who have strong morals and ethics by holding their own companies accountable to the contractual agreements they make with the government, yet do not do so, are told “its not worth our time”. Nope, our government would rather wait until it turns into MILLIONS before they take any action, at which point it costs taxpayers TRIPLE the amount of resources to audit, hire attorneys, retain evidence and take it to trial. Our government is so DYSFUNCTIONAL I’m utterly amazed its still operating, but for the countries (loans sharks) we Congress keeps borrowing from to keep this charade going while they silently drain us into bankruptcy—BIG SIGH.

Yea I have to agree with some of the other guys that shrinking the carrier fleet is a bad idea—but I also agree that carriers are too large. I thing that the size of carriers should decrease and that the numbers should increase. True a smaller carrier would mean a smaller air wing (both in the size of the wing and the aircraft themselves) but the total number would go up. This way we could be in more places at once and reduce the target size and cost of individual carriers. I think that we should focus more on true SSN type subs instead of jack of all trades like Virginia class. Just maybe we shoul also include diesels as patrol subs? I’m sure the Brits would spare a few. The F-35 is expensive garbage should have went with Boeigs entry in the JSF competition! Good greif we don’t even have a replacment for the M-4/M-16 rifle yet!

I hate to say it but in that reguard I almost have to agree with concerned european. Or troops being stationed in Korea are doing nothing but being human shields. The Koreans don’t even let us sell american products over there but we have plenty of korean imports, not to mention that we are footing the bill on stationing or troops over there as well as subsidizing their military, in fact did you know that the Koreans have our top secreat armor for the Abrams tank and that they use it in there own idigineous design! I have to agree with D. Trump and say make the koreans pay for protection…Isn’t that mobster 101! America lost its spine a long time ago, I knew it when we did not launch a nuke after 9/11 we droped two for pearl harbor. America does not have any kind of capitol (spritual, monetarily, political, social etc.) To undertake the kind of engagement you are talking about. The military is more of a social experiment than a fighging firce nowadays. I want the US to be on top be it seems like less people agree.

YGBSM! Another Air Chief Marshall with more wisdom than the Chief & other 4-Stars. Next!

The French government has a consortium of sovereign governments who don’t seem to get involved with the graft ridden lobbyist directed bidding process that is the goal within itself. Keep the process of bidding on useless “programs” with thousands upon thousands of “program managers” who make lifetime careers by perpetuating technological myths.

Unfortunately SECDEF Hagel has to ask “mother may I, please…” to Congressional Reps who each have an attitude of “not in my backyard”, so working and managing change efficiently is nearly impossible.

“superraptor” has it right the F-35 is a failure. But I am sure the government will continue to throw money at it until it flies but can never really do the job. It’s like that V-22 tilt router A/C sense day one it has been a joke and is still a joke. It’s still killing military crews.

The A 10 works…Its that simple. Cancelling is a huge mistake. It kills tanks and does so without causing friendly fire casualties.

Perhaps the Marines should take these plans off the Air Force’s hands.


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