Pulling on a Thread

If the Air Force doesn’t get to divest the A-10 fleet, a whole series of mission shifts involving the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve will unravel, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said Wednesday. Speaking at the National Press Club—where he spent a good third of his time answering A-10 questions—Welsh said, “We’ve … worked very hard to put together transition plans for those units” flying the A-10, spending “a ton of time” looking for ways to put different hardware into those organizations so that they are “viable for the long term.” Without the A-10 divestiture “the plan will come unraveled, we will not have the right force structure at the right time to migrate into those units, … and we’ll start the planning over again.” Accommodating sequester cuts requires a “chain of events,” he said, and the job “is hard, the planning is very delicate, the cuts are real, the issues are serious.”