Retired Air Force pilot pushes for A-10's security at D-M - Tucson News Now

Retired Air Force pilot pushes for A-10's security at D-M

A U.S. House vote that keeps the A-10 aircraft mission funded at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base has bought some time for lawmakers to determine its future.

Meantime, supporters of the A-10 said the plane is crucial in protecting troops and bases in the U.S. and abroad.

"The A-10 is a close-air support platform and it is in fact, the best close-air support cast platform in the history of aviation," said Robin Stoddard, a 30-year veteran of the Air Force and retired pilot currently contracted as an A-10 instructor at D-M.

For now, D-M's signature mission remains secure. Late Friday, the House voted 300-114 to approve an amendment that stops the Pentagon from spending money to "divest, retire, transfer or place in storage, or prepare to divest, retire, transfer of place in storage any A-10 aircraft" through fiscal year 2015.

The amendment was added into a $570 billion House defense appropriations bill that was approved Friday. The Senate has yet to draft its version of the bill.

Automatic spending cuts have forced the government to bring up talks in possibly retiring the A-10, with backers seeing this as a cost-saving reduction.

Stoddard, however, said the fleet is the most cost-effective in protecting ground troops as well as among the most effective.

"We already saw the drastic consequences of using a B-1 for close-air support. Five friendlies dead a few days ago. That's a tragedy that could have been entirely prevented, if the A-10 was overhead," Stoddard said.

In April, D-M released its latest economic impact analysis from 2013, which revealed a $1.47 billion impact in the local area due to D-M and its retirees. The report also showed D-M helped create more than 4,400 jobs in the Tucson area.

Businesses along Craycroft Road near the base want to see D-M stay strong through its A-10 mission, like the Mardon Company, a shop that makes military name tags and accessories.

Up to ten percent of Mardon's business comes from D-M, according to store manager Tony Shields. While the economic impact of potentially losing the A-10 is not as heavy for his business, Shields said he, too, is concerned about security for service members.

"We got a lot of troops out there and they depend on the A-10," Shields said.

Copyright 2014 Tucson NewsNow. All rights reserved.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • 'Home Alone' dad John Heard dies at 72

    'Home Alone' dad John Heard dies at 72

    Saturday, July 22 2017 12:09 PM EDT2017-07-22 16:09:35 GMT
    Saturday, July 22 2017 12:20 PM EDT2017-07-22 16:20:52 GMT

    John Heard appeared in numerous movies and television shows throughout a lengthy acting career, but it was his role as the father of Macauley Culkin's character in two "Home Alone" films that gained him notoriety.

    John Heard appeared in numerous movies and television shows throughout a lengthy acting career, but it was his role as the father of Macauley Culkin's character in two "Home Alone" films that gained him notoriety.

  • UA College of Medicine students start their journey towards their dreams

    UA College of Medicine students start their journey towards their dreams

    Saturday, July 22 2017 1:24 AM EDT2017-07-22 05:24:58 GMT
    Aaron Bia (Source: Tucson News Now)Aaron Bia (Source: Tucson News Now)

    Students with the University of Arizona College of Medicine's class of 2021 received their white coats Friday evening.  The class, made up of 120 students were selected among a record breaking 7,218 applications.  

    Students with the University of Arizona College of Medicine's class of 2021 received their white coats Friday evening.  The class, made up of 120 students were selected among a record breaking 7,218 applications.  

  • Rabid bobcat killed near Pima/Pinal county line prompts warning for residents

    Rabid bobcat killed near Pima/Pinal county line prompts warning for residents

    Saturday, July 22 2017 12:44 AM EDT2017-07-22 04:44:30 GMT

    A recent case in rural Pima County is serving as an important reminder. On Thursday, July 20, the Pima County Animal Care and Health Department were notified a bobcat tested positive for rabies. 

    A recent case in rural Pima County is serving as an important reminder. On Thursday, July 20, the Pima County Animal Care and Health Department were notified a bobcat tested positive for rabies. 

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 'Home Alone' dad John Heard dies at 72

    'Home Alone' dad John Heard dies at 72

    Saturday, July 22 2017 10:26 AM EDT2017-07-22 14:26:16 GMT
    Saturday, July 22 2017 11:22 AM EDT2017-07-22 15:22:00 GMT

    John Heard appeared in numerous movies and television shows throughout a lengthy acting career, but it was his role as the father of Macauley Culkin's character in two "Home Alone" films that gained him notoriety.

    John Heard appeared in numerous movies and television shows throughout a lengthy acting career, but it was his role as the father of Macauley Culkin's character in two "Home Alone" films that gained him notoriety.

  • GRAPHIC VIDEO: Teens mock drowning man

    GRAPHIC VIDEO: Teens mock drowning man

    Thursday, July 20 2017 9:14 PM EDT2017-07-21 01:14:47 GMT
    Thursday, July 20 2017 9:39 PM EDT2017-07-21 01:39:28 GMT

    Police say no laws were violated by five teens who made a video of a drowning man and posted it to social media. 

    Police say no laws were violated by five teens who made a video of a drowning man and posted it to social media. 

  • Firefighters from five counties battle huge fire in Granite Falls

    Firefighters from five counties battle huge fire in Granite Falls

    Saturday, July 22 2017 12:08 PM EDT2017-07-22 16:08:40 GMT

    The fire broke out at the Old Shuford Mill on Falls Avenue in Granite Falls, right across the street from the Granite Falls Police Department.

    The fire broke out at the Old Shuford Mill on Falls Avenue in Granite Falls, right across the street from the Granite Falls Police Department.

Powered by Frankly