Lawmakers Seek to Save Flying Razorbacks’ Flying Mission

In an effort to stave off the proposed elimination of the A-10 flying mission of the Arkansas Air National Guard’s 188th Fighter Wing at Fort Smith, the state’s congressional delegation invited Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh to visit the unit to get “a complete picture” of its “capabilities, readiness level, and superior airspace and facilities.” In their Nov. 27 missive to Welsh, the seven lawmakers said they were “disappointed” that the Air Force’s revised force structure proposal for Fiscal 2013 would end the wing’s A-10 operations, especially since this plan “was not developed in coordination with relevant entities” and “does not have adequate analysis and justification.” They asked once again that the Air Force provide this information, noting that the wing has been “a textbook model in terms of operational readiness and efficiency.” The Arkansas delegation includes: Sen. Mark Pryor (D), Sen. John Boozman (R), Rep. Rick Crawford (R), Rep. Tim Griffin (R), Rep. Mike Ross (D), Rep. Steve Womack (R), and Rep. (elect) Tom Cotton (R), who will supplant Ross in the 113th Congress come January. (See also Pryor release.)