/ Modified jan 16, 2015 9:07 a.m.

Davis-Monthan's A-10 on Chopping Block Again

Pentagon readying budget that includes retiring Davis-Monthan's primary aicraft.

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The A-10 airplane is again being proposed for elimination in the budget scheduled to be released next month by President Barack Obama.

About 80 arplanes, nearly one-third of the Air Force’s A-10 fleet, are based at Tucson’s Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

Gen. Mark Welsh, Air Force chief of staff, said in a State of the Air Force news conference Thursday he would like to keep the A-10, but it is not financially realistic.

“For the Air Force, it is not an emotional issue it is a sequestration driven decision," Welsh said. "We don’t have enough money last year or this next year to fund all the things we currently have in our force structure.”

The Pentagon is also calling for a study looking at the possibility of closing bases.

Debates over the future of the A-10 and possible base closures will begin in the spring.

Members of Arizona's congressional delegation, led by Sen. John McCain, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, have said they will insist on inclusion of funding for the A-10 going forward.

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