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Delegation members hail decision to postpone A-10 retirement

An A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft from the 124th Operations Support Flight flying over Utah in early 2012. The Pentagon wants to retire the 40-year-old close-support fighter jets as part of its budget-cutting. (Photo by Staff Sgt Stephany Richards/U.S. Air Force)

An A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft from the 124th Operations Support Flight flying over Utah in early 2012. Ai??(Photo by Staff Sgt Stephany Richards/U.S. Air Force)

Some members of Arizona’s congressional delegation are hailing a decision to postpone the planned retirement of the A-10 attack jet.

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson is home to approximately 80 of the Air Force’s 300 remaining A-10s and delegation members have said the aircraft is needed to support ground troops in combat.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced Tuesday that the Air Force plans to delay the retirement of the A-10 until at least 2022.

Sen. John McCain says that decision plus a pledge that A-10s will only be replaced as new aircraft become operational means the military won’t create a “capability gap.”

Rep. 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