The Air Force is adjusting its original plan for replacing Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve A-10s after several failed attempts to divest the fleet. A new Force Structure Action plan based on the Fiscal 2017 budget request details what Guard and Reserve units will fly once they lose their A-10s. USAF now plans to begin replacing the venerable Warthogs on a “squadron-by-squadron” basis in Fiscal 2018. The final aircraft is slated to retire in 2022 after the F-35 comes on line. For example, in 2018, the Reserve A-10 unit at Whiteman AFB, Mo., and the Guard unit at Fort Wayne ANGS, Ind., will both transfer to F-16s. In 2020, the unit at Martin State Airport in Maryland will lose 21 A-10s and gain eight C-130s. In 2021, Selfridge ANGB, Mich., will lose 21 A-10s and gain 8 KC-135s, while the unit at Gowen Field, Idaho, will lose 21 A-10s and gain 20 F-15Cs. The operational A-10 unit at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., will lose 25 Warthogs in Fiscal 2019 and will gain 21 F-16s the same year. The training units assigned to the base will be disbanded in Fiscal 2020 and 2021, losing a total of 58 A-10s, according to the plan. The Air Force will replace the units assigned to the Guard and Reserve, but there are currently no plans to replace Active Duty A-10 units. However, there is still time to come up with follow-on missions for the Active Duty if necessary, said Lt. Gen. Mike Holmes, the deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements. Active Duty A-10s are stationed at Davis-Monthan; Nellis AFB, Nev.; Moody AFB, Ga.; Eglin AFB, Fla.; and Osan AB, South Korea.
Adm. Christopher Grady, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs and head of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, is pushing a “portfolio” approach to requirements and wants his position to have “more teeth” so he can enforce it.