File photo. (REUTERS/Staff Sgt. Jason Robertson/U.S. Air Force/Handout via Reuters)

FOX News/ Air Force mulls mothballing F-16s if Congress blocks A-10 retirement

The House Armed Services Committee inserted $683 million into the 2016 defense bill to stop the Air Force from retiring the A-10 Warthog.

However, Air Force leaders said the service will have to mothball F-16s and delay the deployment of the F-35 in response to the move by the committee.

Service leaders have said for years the Air Force can no longer afford the A-10. The service said it needs to dedicate resources and manning toward the F-35. Congress has since pushed back saying the service must keep the close-air-support aircraft.

U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, explained that the aircraft's historic and recent combat performances require that it serve a longer life span.

WNU Editor: There is no real substitute for the A-10 .... and that is the heart of the problem. The U.S. Air Force may want planes in the air but the soldiers on the ground do need air to ground air support, and an F-35 flying at 10,000 feet in the air is not going to provide it as well as someone who is closer to the ground.

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