The Continuing Need for the Air Force's Most Effective Close Air Support Aircraft

Close Air Support training ~ An A-10 Thunderbolt II with the U.S. Air Force Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., drops an AGM-65 Maverick missile during a close air support training mission Sept. 23, 2011, over the Nevada Test and Training Range. U.S. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brett Clashman)

The Continuing Need for the Air Force’s

Most Effective Close Air Support Aircraft

Congressional Staff Briefing

Date: Thursday, December 5, 2013

Time: 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Location: SR-385 (Russell Senate Office Building)

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) and the Straus Military Reform Project (SMRP) are sponsoring a briefing—exclusively for Senate and House staff—on close air support, the A-10 aircraft, and the Air Force’s plan to retire all A-10s before a replacement achieves full operational capability.

Speakers will include Pierre M. Sprey, an internationally recognized combat aviation designer, who was deeply involved in the conceptualization, design, and acquisition of the A-10 (in addition to the F-16 and other combat aircraft), and William (“Smitty”) Smith, an A-10 pilot and squadron commander with 128 combat sorties in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.

In addition, other combat veterans of the close support community will be on hand to also answer your questions. In addition, the briefing will include recent combat video footage of A-10s supporting American troops heavily engaged in close combat.

In light of reported Air Force plans to retire the A-10, as well as Senator Kelly Ayotte’s bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment (S. AMDT.2063) and her stand-alone bill (S.1764), this briefing could not be more timely. Regardless of what transpires with the NDAA, close air support and the future of the A-10 will be leading topics of debate in Congress, the Department of Defense and the media in the coming months.

House and Senate staff are encouraged to attend the briefing to ask questions and discuss with experts how we can ensure our troops in combat have superior close air support to accomplish their combat missions and return home knowing we have done everything possible to ensure their safety and success now and in the future.

We hope to see you there.