Back and Forth

Acting Air Force Secretary Eric Fanning and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh are reviewing the Air Force’s responses to the second round of questions from Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) regarding the future of the A-10 fleet, service spokeswoman Maj. Toni Whaley told the Daily Report on Wednesday. Whaley said the Air Force expects to forward the responses to Ayotte’s office no later than Oct. 10. In the meantime, Ayotte’s hold on Deborah James’ nomination to be the next Air Force Secretary remains in place. Whaley said the Air Force cannot comment on the specifics of Ayotte’s follow-on questions, but said there were some 20 received on Oct. 4. Air Force officials have said they are considering divesting the A-10 fleet starting in Fiscal 2015 as a means to save money for recapitalization and modernization priorities. Ayotte’s office has said the senator’s “central concern is that our troops have the close air support they need to accomplish their missions and return home safely.” She doesn’t want the Air Force to “prematurely” retire the A-10s.