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Selfridge’s A10 aircraft fleet looks safe from budget cuts for now

by Candice Miller on June 23, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Air Force’s intentions aside, it’s increasingly looking like the U.S. fleet of A10 aircraft — including the 18 flying out of Selfridge Air National Guard Base — is safe for now.

On Thursday night, U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, who lives a short distance from the base in Harrison Township, beat back an effort by House appropriators to cut money for the aging A10s. The Air Force is trying to ground the fleet, a move it says could save billions of dollars.

“The Air Force wants to save money, but they don’t have an adequate follow-on at this time, and, with what’s happening in Iraq and the Middle East, eliminating the A10 is the absolute wrong move,” said Miller, a Republican who chairs the House Administration Committee.

Miller’s amendment to the defense appropriations bill prohibiting the Air Force from spending any funds to ground the A10 fleet passed on a 300-114 vote, with every Michigan member in favor. But the fate of Selfridge’s aircraft still has a long way to go before it is ultimately decided.

A defense authorization bill that would save the A10s for this year at least still needs to be passed in the Senate, and then a compromise reached between it and the House. And the defense appropriations bill — which is supposed to pay for what’s been authorized — will be reworked in the Senate as well, especially with President Barack Obama objecting to it in its current form.

But with the Senate already looking poised to pass an authorization bill saving the A10s in the short term and Miller’s win Thursday night, it’s becoming much more likely the aircraft will keep flying for now — though the Air Force has shown little indication it’s going to give up on the cost savings associated with grounding the fleet.

Contact Todd Spangler: 703-854-8947 or

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