Though the Air Force would like to phase out the A-10 close air support aircraft, it will continue buying new wings for the fleet until Congress permits otherwise, service Undersecretary Eric Fanning said Tuesday. USAF is prohibited by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 “from doing anything that leads toward the divestment of the A-10,” Fanning said, so the rewinging goes on. The service has quoted a savings number of $3.7 billion over five years if the A-10 is retired, and that includes “opportunity cost,” Fanning noted. A service spokeswoman said terminating the rewinging effort would save an additional $500 million. “If we did divest the A-10 fleet, obviously we would start with the ones that haven’t had new [wings] put on them,” Fanning said. If USAF doesn’t get to divest the A-10 and U-2 fleets, Fanning said the service can’t “cut into readiness far enough” to pay the bill, “so something in procurement would have to give.”
Two Airmen endured -45 degree temperatures during an Arctic survival course in the far north, where national security experts worry the U.S. is underprepared to counter Russia or China.