WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, along with Congressmen Russ Fulcher (R-ID), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Paul Mitchell (R-MI), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), introduced a resolution expressing continued Congressional support for the A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft program. Also known as the Warthog, the A-10 Thunderbolt II is popular among pilots, crews and ground troops for its tenacity and close air support capabilities.
“Idaho is the proud home of the 124th Fighter Wing which flies the A-10 aircraft out of Gowen Field in Boise,” said Simpson. “Our Idaho Air National Guardsmen provide a vital service on the battlefield: close air support for ground troops in combat. The A-10 has proven itself to be a reliable workhorse of American airpower, and I am pleased that Congress continues to recognize the A-10’s critical mission and the Airmen who support it.”
“Troops on the ground tell me that hearing the A-10 gives them a sense of security when confronted by the enemy,” said Fulcher. “This plane protects our people when they are in danger. It is vital to America’s defense. The A-10 has a home here at Gowen. I will do what I can to ensure that mission continues.”
Operated in part by the Idaho Air National Guard’s 124th Fighter Wing, the A-10 Thunderbolt II is a close air support, straight wing jet first introduced by the U.S. Air Force in October 1977. Since that time, it has distinguished itself through its ground-support capabilities in Operation Desert Storm and more recently against ISIS and over Afghanistan. Its durable frame and short takeoff and landing area make the A-10 Thunderbolt II an essential tool in facilitating the movement of ground troops and a key component of military operations.
The 124th Fighter Wing will deploy more than 400 personnel later this year to several locations throughout Southwest Asia in support of combat operations, performing the close air support mission. “The U.S. Air Force’s A-10 mission directly supports the 2018 National Defense Strategy objectives of defending the homeland and sustaining joint force advantages,” Simpson said, adding, “I am extremely proud of the Idaho National Guard’s key role in supporting this mission.”
If passed, the resolution will underscore the sense in Congress that the A-10 Thunderbolt II program is critical to U.S. military functions. It will be under considered by the House Armed Services Committee.
Text of the resolution can be found here.