TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

GOP senator seeks answers from Air Force on A-10 fate

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, 7:48 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — Sen. Kelly Ayotte is blocking Senate action on President Obama's nominee for Air Force secretary until she gets answers about the fate of the military's A-10 attack aircraft.

The New Hampshire Republican placed a “hold” on the nomination of Deborah Lee James amid signals from senior Air Force officials that the aircraft may be scrapped because of budget cuts.

“As ranking member of the Armed Services readiness subcommittee, Sen. Ayotte's central concern is that our troops, including New Hampshire servicemen and women serving in harm's way, have the close air support they need to safely accomplish their missions,” Liz Johnson, a spokeswoman for the senator, said in a statement on Thursday. “The A-10 airframe is credited with saving 60 American lives this summer in Afghanistan.”

Johnson said Ayotte had not gotten the answers from the Air Force on whether it planned to eliminate the aircraft before a replacement was available. The Air Force was in the process of responding and once Ayotte received a “substantive response” she would lift her hold on the nomination, Johnson said.

Ayotte's husband, Joe Daley, is a former A-10 pilot who flew combat missions in Iraq.

The senator questioned James about the aircraft at her confirmation hearing this month, arguing that until the next generation F-35 aircraft was operational, “we can't be giving up our capacity, particularly important capacity that protects our troops.”

James had testified that there had been no decision on the A-10, but the Air Force was looking at all options as it confronts automatic, across-the board spending cuts.

Ayotte submitted 32 follow-up questions to the Air Force.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Big Bang ‘waves’ go poof under analysis
  2. Secretary of State Kerry says Cuba talks offer chance to improve lives
  3. NASA satellite to track water in soil
  4. Internet rules in line for big shift
  5. ‘Drink of the Devil’ unites formerly feuding families
  6. Accused Kennedy killer’s casket must go to brother, judge rules
  7. Hillary Clinton’s charter jet costs scrutinized
  8. Drivers, return to your car dealers for 2nd airbag fix
  9. Balloonists smash records with trans-Pacific flight
  10. Colorado to clarify benefit limits over concern welfare, food stamps used to buy legal pot
  11. Prospective juror in Tsarnaev trial cites sympathy for suspect in Boston Marathon bombing