A-10

lockheed boeing long range strike bomber

PENTAGON: The grander the title, the blander the content. That’s normally a safe rule in Washington. But if analyzed closely, this afternoon’s “State of the Air Force” briefing by service Secretary Deborah Lee James and Chief of Staff Mark Welsh, plus the accompanying pamphlet A Call To the Future, actually do articulate a remarkably clear… Keep reading →

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James

FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW: Deborah Lee James had been in office a very short time when she learned of a crisis in the Air Force’s nuclear force and had to hold her first press conference as the service’s top civilian to discuss cheating and drugs. A tough start to a new job. She still faces a myriad… Keep reading →

Reaping the Benefits of a Global Defense Industry

Greg Sanders CSIS photo

  As the Defense Department’s budget goes down, the number of contracts awarded without competitive bids is going up. The share of contracts awarded without competition has risen from 39 percent in 2009 to 42 percent in 2012, according to a report I co-authored with Jesse Ellman and Rhys McCormick on DoD Contracting Trends. The news for… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: Election fears ruled the day on Capitol Hill when the full House of Representatives voted to stop the Air Force from retiring the venerable and venerated A-10 aircraft in the chamber’s version of the defense appropriations bill. While we heard little of the backroom chatter and didn’t see the emails that doubtless flew as… Keep reading →

An A-10 "Warthog" flies low over two ground troops.

  CAPITOL HILL: The House Appropriations Committee bucked the trend today, voting 23 to 13 to retire the beloved A-10 Warthog ground attack plane. Both the House and Senate Armed Services committees have voted to save it. While HASC and SASC are the authorizers who set defense policy, it’s the appropriators who vote the money to… Keep reading →

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) after Thursday evening's press conference on the National Defense Authorization Act for 2015.

THE CAPITOL: “We do emphasize readiness,” Sen. Carl Levin told me. “I for one would rather have a smaller force that is ready than a bigger force that is less ready.” With those words — his parting shot as I hounded him through the Capitol’s marble halls after his official press conference yesterday on the… Keep reading →

Test squadron demonstrates Sniper pod capability

Congress usually does not like it when the military decides to retire a weapon system. A fleet of planes like the A-10 or the U-2, or ships like Ticonderoga cruisers or, for that matter, a military base are all centers of jobs. And Congress doesn’t like it when someone messes around with existing jobs. When… Keep reading →

A-10 from below

CAPITOL HILL: Aside from Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the reaction from Capitol Hill to the Air Force plan for retiring the ugly and beloved A-10 has been relatively muted and may remain so. Why would Congress, beloved for going slightly nuts whenever the military tries to retire a ship, aircraft squadron, or anything else that means jobs… Keep reading →

Global Hawk prepares for flying mission

UPDATED: Sen. Leahy, 12 Other Senators, Decry Planned Guard Cuts To Hagel (6:20 PM Monday) PENTAGON: Congress and the Pentagon are likely to battle for most of the rest of this year over the administration’s budget plans: to retire the U-2 (again); to retire half the Navy’s current cruiser fleet; to trim and consolidate pay… Keep reading →

Mackenzie Eaglen, defense analyst at the American Enterprise Institute.

She’s baaack! After having the temerity to give birth to a child and thus deprive us of her insights for several months, Mackenzie Eaglen of the American Enterprise Institute has penned an op-ed on the 2015 budget. She casts it in a fairly gloomy light, pointing to the haunting possibility of a hollow force in the… Keep reading →

An A-10 "Warthog" firing its infamous 30 mm gun.

WASHINGTON: The A-10 Warthog is ugly, tough, lethal, and fairly flexible. Its famous 30mm gun can destroy tanks or other armored vehicles with remarkable efficiency, not to mention enemy troops. Its titanium tub of a cockpit protects the plane’s pilot from most ground fire. Its pilots are trained to fly low and slow and to… Keep reading →

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