A-10 cuts update
WASHINGTON — Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., has placed a hold on the White House’s nominee for Air Force secretary, blocking the confirmation process of Deborah Lee James until questions are answered regarding potential cuts to the A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft, according to an Ayotte aide.
“Yes, she has placed a hold until she gets answers on the A-10 issue,” the aide told Defense News Wednesday evening. “She (as ranking member of the readiness subcommittee) views this as a readiness issue. Until we have a replacement for the A-10, why would the [Air Force] try to eliminate it? She isn’t necessarily saying we must retain the A-10, but wants to ensure there isn’t a capability gap that could result in lost American lives.”