Punxsutawney Phil, the Warthog Version

The Air Force’s Fiscal 2016 budget proposal once again attempts to divest the A-10 fleet, even though Congress has thus far adamantly refused to allow the service to do so. “During Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, the A-10 aircraft accomplished only 20 percent of all [close air support] missions,” states a budget document released on Monday. “Additionally, the A-10 does not possess the necessary survivability to remain viable in anti-access environments.” Unlike previous budgets, however, the Fiscal 2016 budget proposes a phased end to the storied aircraft. The Air Force hopes to divest 164 A-10s in Fiscal 2016, including all 143 of the Active Duty component’s Warthogs and 21 of the Air National Guard’s aircraft. That would leave 64 A-10s in the ANG and 55 in Air Force Reserve Command. The Air Force would then keep these remaining A-10s “operational and available for deployment through 2019,” according to the document, the Air Force Fiscal 2016 Budget Overview (caution; large-sized file).