HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force places 18 A-10 aircraft into 'Backup Status'

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force, with congressional authorization, will convert 18 primary combat-coded A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft from active units and place them into Backup-Aircraft Inventory (BAI) status with the possibility to convert another 18 at a later date in fiscal year 2015.

The secretary of Defense has authorized the Air Force to place up to a total of 36 A-10 aircraft into BAI status. Although Congress has authorized 36 of the A-10 aircraft to be put into BAI status, the Air Force has elected for the time being to place fewer in BAI status.

“At this time the Air Force is moving into BAI status only 18 A-10s of the 36 authorized in Sec 133 of the FY15 National Defense Authorization Act,” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James. “While we are authorized by Congress to put 36 aircraft into BAI status, doing that now would require taking down an entire squadron. Out of respect for the intent of Congress, we're placing 18 aircraft in BAI status.”

The Air Force will assess whether this action adequately balances ongoing requirements and the need to modernize.

“We will revisit this action as the year progresses to assess the need to put the additional 18 aircraft into BAI status,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III. “This action represents the difficult choices required to balance between maintaining the capacity to meet current operational requirements and the resource investment required to keep our modernization efforts on schedule.”

The A-10s placed into BAI will serve as replacement aircraft for ones that become unserviceable. The A-10s slated for BAI status are currently assigned to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona (9); Moody AFB, Georgia (6), and Nellis AFB, Nevada (3).

Converting aircraft to BAI status will free up experienced maintainers so they can be integrated into the F-35 Lightning II program.

“The secretary of Defense has certified that placing up to 36 A-10 aircraft into backup flying status is a necessary step to reduce the Air Force’s shortage of experienced fighter maintenance personnel,” said James.

The decision to put the 18 A-10’s into back-up status comes on the heels of the need to field maintainers for the F-35 program and on the recommendation of a Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) study in 2015. The independent study confirmed that a limited supply of experienced fighter maintenance personnel is constraining legacy fleet readiness and the standup of F-35A squadrons. Additionally, the CAPE study found that the transfer of even the limited number of A-10s to back-up flying status was far from sufficient to counter current maintenance manning and experience shortfalls.

As such, the Air Force will begin an early transition to the F-35 by converting one of the two F-16 Fighting Falcon squadrons at Hill AFB, Utah. The 4th Fighter Squadron will transition early in order to free up additional maintenance manpower for the F-35. While the Air Force plans to add an F-35 unit at Hill AFB, prohibitions on retiring A-10s prevent the Air Force from retraining enough maintainers to add an F-35 unit there, at this time. Transitioning one of the two F-16 squadrons early at Hill will allow the Air Force to retain critical in place maintenance personnel to support the F-35 reaching initial operational capability in August of 2016.

Additionally, the Air Force will contract some maintenance functions at Luke AFB, Arizona, to meet the F-35 bed down requirements. The Air Force is also investigating opportunities to capitalize on Total Force opportunities with its National Guard and Reserve components.

“Although these decisions will have some impact on our legacy aircraft readiness, putting A-10s into BAI status, transitioning a squadron early at Hill AFB, and contracting some F-35 maintenance functions at Luke AFB helps ensure enough Air Force maintainers are trained and in place to support the F-35 at initial operational capability and beyond,” said James.

BAI conversions do not impact planned A-10 deployments through the end of fiscal year 2018.


Facebook Twitter
#USAF and @USNavy partner to complete missions around the world. Watch how #Airmen and #Sailors use #airpower to de… https://t.co/GULcztQL0C
RT @PACAF: #COMPACAF and multinational #5thgen experts had the opportunity to experience an #F35 simulator in #Hawaii. #interoperability #R
These @341MissileWing #Airmen braved sub-zero temperatures and frigid, heavy snow to save a citizen stranded in a s… https://t.co/qeMSUoVbNy
.@grandslamwing has some real SLICC #Airmen, who provide communications in the sky. Watch how: @USAFCENT @CENTCOM https://t.co/oEkz70r0n1
.@Travis60AMW and @USAScienceFest hosted 600+ middle school students for this #XSTEM event, where #airpower was use… https://t.co/XGbEsE3Gs6
On today's #ThrowbackThursday, we remember all the #LadiesofLiberty #Airmen who help make our mission possible.… https://t.co/DRv3XKHd6a
RT @NASA: LIVE NOW: Three space travelers, including two @NASA_Astronauts, are set to launch to the @Space_Station at 3:14pm ET for a six-a…
RT @AstroHague: On our way to the launch complex at Baikonur Cosmodrome. Lift off on #PiDay...an engineer’s dream come true. Next stop, @Sp
.@AstroHague is one of few #astronauts to survive an aborted post-launch space mission. Hear his harrowing journey,… https://t.co/q5noJpVbdf
.@SecAFOfficial & @GenDaveGoldfein outline service’s priorities, aspirations to Senate subcommittee. #FY2020https://t.co/QSPay0Hbld
Nothing says #goodmorning like a good morning #FODWalk! SSgt. Benjamin Jordan, production controller w/ the 911th… https://t.co/4u8R627zVt
It takes a lot to provide air support for a major military exercise. #Airmen from the 37th Airlift Squadron, based… https://t.co/wXXE5Rvj3A
#USAF, Republic of Singapore Air Force & the Royal Thai #AirForce join together to enhance the three nations' milit… https://t.co/NLN6cSLwjQ
How do you find your inner #hero? This #CitizenAirman creates his own #comicbooks to overcome his challenges & insp… https://t.co/PZr3wb9qjo
RT @SecAFOfficial: Great to chat w/ space coast community leaders about how Florida Coast partnerships enable our nation’s #space mission.…
RT @nyit: President Hank Foley moderated an insightful conversation featuring @USAirforce's Dr. Will Roper and @RepTomSuozzi and discussed…
Peace meets pandemonium as @20FighterWing Security Forces #Airmen go to battle in force-on-force training.… https://t.co/hP4l8H9XGi
LIVE at 10 am: @SecAFOfficial & @GenDaveGoldfein provide testimony at a Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee… https://t.co/Qc8h81cRPB