Miller objects to DoD plans to cut fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft

Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) pledged on Monday to push back against the elimination of the entire fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft outlined in President Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2015 and to protect the role of the Air National Guard.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the Obama administration plans to cut A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft, including those stationed at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township, Mich., from the Department of Defense’s budget on Monday.

Miller, the vice chairwoman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said ensuring that national defense efforts are adequately funded will be her top priority as Congress begins consideration of the president’s budget proposal.

“Over the last few years the budget put forward by the administration has attempted to eliminate the flying mission of the A-10s and diminish the role of the Air National Guard,” Miller said. “Each time I have been proud to help lead the effort in Congress to reject this proposal and have demanded that the Air Force put forward a plan on how it will replace the important ground support mission of the A-10 and properly utilize the great talent and skill provided by the brave men and women of the Air National Guard.”

The National Guard has been the foundation of national security for two centuries, Miller said, and it has supplied approximately one third of all armed forces deployed since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“The administration can expect that those of us who so strongly recognize the important role the National Guard plays in defending our nation will not back down in ensuring that role is not diminished,” Miller said.