This week the House Armed Services Committee approved an amendment offered by Representative Martha McSally (R-AZ) to prohibit the Air Force from retiring the A-10. This amendment, added to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2016, protects key close air support and combat search and rescue capabilities that we need to protect our troops in combat. It also requires an independent assessment of the capabilities or platforms needed to eventually replace the A-10. You can see her remarks on her amendment below:

Many Members of Congress are reluctant to challenge Generals and exercise their constitutional prerogative to question whether executive branch policies and budget decisions truly make us safer as a nation. Representative Martha McSally (R-AZ) is a notable exception, and her fight for the A-10 has persuaded her colleagues to preserve the platform and earned her recognition as an “unconventional new star.”

It’s not the first time McSally has taken on senior leadership at the Pentagon. When she was an Air Force pilot, she successfully sued then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in 2002 over the constitutionality of a policy to require military women in Saudi Arabia to wear an abaya—the customary head-to-toe gown—when they left base. A separate amendment she added to the FY 2016 NDAA furthered oversight of compliance with the revised policy.

Chickenhawkstake note: standing up for our troops isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s politically smart as well. POGO looks forward to seeing more unconventional stars emerge, and to helping them create a galaxy of tough congressional oversight and accountability.