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Davis-Monthan A-10 Warthogs Fuel Jobs in Tucson

Just a few months after environmental lawsuit mills attempted to shut down Sierra Vista’s largest employer Fort Huachuca, Arizona lawmakers must once again come to the defense of the local economy. This time, however, legislators have put aside partisan debate in favor of economic development and security in Southeastern Arizona. The United States Air Force recently announced plans to retire 42 A-10 aircraft at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, which would cut the base’s fleet of the fabled “Warthogs” by 50 percent and decimate the local economy already ravaged by unemployment caused by the current health crisis. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle aren’t having it.

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Tucson mentioned the proposed cuts to the aircraft could “bring serious harm to the economy in the community I represent.”

Retired Air Force colonel and current Arizona Senator Martha McSally, R-Arizona flew the A-10 in combat. In February, McSally said “point blank that I would not allow their plan to mothball 44 A-10s starting in October to happen.”

Former Rep. Ron Barber (Democrat 2nd and 8th district, Arizona) long fought to keep the A-10s in use saying it would have a “devastating effect” on Davis-Monthan and on Tucson. He also said “it’s very short-sighted to downsize the A-10. There is no alternative aircraft that is able to provide the same kind of asset to men and women in battle.”

Regardless of party lines and political agendas, lawmakers in the Grand Canyon State agree Arizona’s military bases are among the most essential entities for economic development throughout the state. And if elected officials can come together and fight for economic stability and growth in Arizona, it only makes sense that it’s in the best interest of the state at large, and certainly the local and rural communities dependent on the bases themselves.