Former A-10 pilot Rep. Martha McSally
(R-Ariz.) said in a statement this week that without accelerated funding for A-10 wing
replacements, USAF would be forced to ground some A-10s until new
wings become available. USAF photo by Munnaf Joarder.
Congress on Friday released details of compromise defense
appropriations language for Fiscal 2019, which includes $674.4 billion for defense spending—a figure consistent with the National Defense Authorization Act.
The House and Senate
are likely to consider the measure in coming weeks.
The package also includes a short-term continuing resolution
aimed at keeping the government operating until President Trump signs all the
annual appropriations bills.
According to a Senate Appropriations Committee release
on the bill, the $674.4 billion is an increase of $19.8 billion from the Fiscal
2018 enacted level, and includes $43 billion for military aircraft procurement—$4.8 billion more than the President's budget request. Of that, $1.7 billion will fund 16 additional F-35s, including eight
more F-35As; $640 million for eight additional Air National Guard C-130Js; and $100
million for the Light Attack Aircraft program. The bill also includes $10.3 billion for the
Missile Defense Agency, including $1.1 billion in funding not requested by the
The conference report included an additional $65 million for A-10
rewinging, an initiative supported by former A-10 pilot Rep. Martha McSally
(R-Ariz.). In a statement issued earlier
this week, she said that without accelerated funding for A-10 wing
replacements, the Air Force would be forced to ground some A-10s until new
wings become available.
commanders and the ground troops that depend on the Warthog’s unique, life-saving
mission capabilities cannot afford this delay,” she said.
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