Air Command General Fired Over A-10 Replacement Controversy

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( — April 11, 2015) Washington, DC — Since the Pentagon decided to replace the A-10 ground attack jet with the multi-purpose F-35, high officials are divided, those in favor and those who strongly oppose retiring the jet that has proven its efficiency over the years.

According to Air Force officials, Major General James Post crossed the line when he told junior officers they would be committing “treason” by speaking with members of Congress about the attempts to retire the A-10 attack plane.

International Business Times reported that deployment of the 40-year-old aircraft comes just four months after it was controversially saved from defense cuts by Congress.  Originally built to destroy The Soviet armed forces on the ground, the A-10 “Thunderbolt” or the ”Warthog” as airmen named it for its unusual jet design, survived the end of the Cold War thanks to its ability to fly low, carry lots of bombs, a large cannon, and help troops with close air support.

The role the A-10 had in Afghanistan has been invaluable, supporters say. The F-35, a next generation multipurpose fighter is equally capable of destroying ground targets as to engage into air-to-air combat. However, it is far more expensive and needs a new generation of pilots trained to fly it.

It appeares that the A-10 has some powerful friends in congress. Republican Senator John McCain, sought to save it, claiming that the aircraft was the only US jet to offer tactical and accurate support close to the ground, which created controversy in congress about the necessity of replacing some 300 A-10 jets. So, congress demanded additional explanations from Air Force officers.

Reportedly, Major General James Post told junior officers if they talk to congress about capabilities of F-35 over A-10, it would be treason.  Allegedly, the Air Force’s Inspector General found that the comments by Major General James Post, then the ACC Vice Commander, had a “chilling effect” and caused airmen to feel constrained about their right to speak to lawmakers about important issues, Star and Stripes reported.

“It was sincerely never my intention to discourage anyone’s access to their elected officials,” Post said in a released statement. “I now understand how my poor choice of words may have led a few attendees to draw this conclusion and I offer my humble apology for causing any undue strain on the command and its mission.”

The Investigators concluded that Post had been “attempting to prevent” some of the officers from contacting their representatives on Capitol Hill, according to the command. The command emphasized that there is no controversy amid A-10 replacement plans, Air Command confirmed they let General Post go, who was fully aware of the consequences.