Chuck Norris Writes to Save the A-10 Warthog from Retirement

Chuck Norris wants to save the A-10 from retirement. (Courtesy of Chuck Norris)Air Force leaders wanting to send the A-10 Thunderbolt to the bone yard already have any number of lawmakers criticizing them from Capitol Hill.

Now they’ve got “Lone Wolf McQuade” coming after them.

Action star Chuck Norris – an Air Force veteran – on Monday delivered an editorial roundhouse kick to the Air Force, arguing on the World Net Daily website that the “Warthog” – as it is known – still has plenty of fight left in it.

In the ongoing campaign against ISIS, Norris writes, “the A-10′s utility is warranted even more now than ever.”

“Its firepower capability, speed and accuracy, frequent war use, and the oft-painted teeth on its nose cone have made it one of the military’s most popular aircraft,” Norris wrote.

Norris said its “combination of large and varied ordnance load, long loiter time, accurate weapons delivery, austere field capability, and survivability has proven invaluable to the United States and its allies.”

Congress has been running interference against Pentagon plans to dump the plane, saving it through 2015 with $635 million drawn from the war funding budget. But the Air Force has made clear it wants to begin retiring the Thunderbolt fleet next year, linking the move to paying for the development of the Joint Strike Fighter.

In his column, Norris throws some jabs at Warthog critics, including Air Combat Command Commander Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, who is quoted as saying: “There’s only so much you can get out of that airplane. Those airplanes are gonna wear out.”

“But that statement is true of every airplane in existence, and even the sun!” Norris wrote. “The question is: Is the fleet of A-10 ready for retirement? I just celebrated my 75th birthday, but I’m nowhere near ready to head to the scrapheap. Some things improve with age, and the A-10 has done just that, too.”

Norris, a martial arts world champion who began training while in the Air Force in the late 1950s, has achieved almost folk legend status — portrayed as someone who can never be defeated and capable of bending man and nature to his will and fists.

The martial arts superstar has gained further recent fame with an influx of comedic one-liners about his perceived super powers such as — “Chuck Norris died 20 years ago, Death just hasn’t built up the courage to tell him yet,” or “Chuck Norris and Superman once fought each other on a bet. The loser had to start wearing his underwear on the outside of his pants.”

To further bring attention to and save the A-10, Norris is producing and selling a T-shirt with the words “Save the A-10” on the front, and on the back, “Chuck Norris’ First Born Son was a Warthog. He cried tears of ‘BRRRRRRRRRRRTTTTT.”

All proceeds from the T-shirt sales will go toward his martial arts charity, Kickstart Kids.

— Bryant Jordan can be reached at Bryant.Jordan@military.com

About the Author

Bryant Jordan
Bryant Jordan is a reporter for Military.com. He can be reached at bryant.jordan@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BryantJordan.
  • Nicky

    Chuck Norris’ personal airplane is called Air Force Chuck

    • Derek

      I think it’s called: Chuck Norris One

      lol

    • Steve

      If you have never seen an A10 in action you are missing out. I remember back in ’79 I think it was, at DM a TV reporter tried to keep his camera on an A10 and couldn’t do it. the A10 went behind a mountain then came out the same way it went in. I was also with a group who brought F15’s to mock fight the A10. The F15 could not shoot them down because they couldn’t stay behind them. they would change direction so fast the F15 would fly by. This is an extremely Awesome aircraft. We have nothing else like it. You sure wouldn’t want to be in a tank when you see an A10 coming over the horizon!

      • Jason

        sir, i’ve spent 16 years on the a10, f15, and f16. The f15 would blow the a10 out of the sky before the a10 knew it was there.

    • jean falgout

      I am behind you 100% Chuck. As when I was in the USAFR. I was a Weapons Specialists / Crew Chief. When i first joined we had the A37 we were the last Unit to have that plane. They replaced it with the A10 Love that plane and really believe that them wanting to get rid of this plane is a big mistake. the job it does.is amazing. And giving it to another country would be the a big mistake.

      • earl

        I think it should remain in action for the ground forces its not a plane built for air to air combat

    • h0m3rc1d4l

      When an A-10 goes to sleep at night, it checks the hangar for Chuck Norris

    • Rotorhead1651

      I thought it was ” Air Norris One”

  • Nicky

    Chuck Norris served in the Air Force, after Osan, the Air Force served Chuck Norris

  • Nicky

    Chuck Norris died 20 years ago, Death just hasn’t built up the courage to tell him yet.

    • BlackOwl18E

      Chuck Norris once strangled a man with a cordless phone.

    • http://twitter.com/tomolgag @tomolgag

      are you sick or just plain ignorant

  • Nicky

    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn’t dead it is just afriad to move.

  • Nicky

    Death once had a near-Chuck Norris experience

  • Nicky

    The most secretive military base in The United States is located at Chuck Norris’ house where Seal Team 6 came from.

  • Nicky

    The deadliest weapon the United States military possesses is a Chuck Norris.

  • Nadnerbus

    I want to see the A-10 continue in service, but Chuck jumped the shark on this one. It’s not really any different than when some Hollywood hairdo decides to opine on world politics. They usually don’t know jack about it and are interfering with the actual experts with their celebrity.

    At least try to work an A-10 into The Expendables 23 or something.

    • rtsy

      Couldn’t agree more. He’s completely out of his element on the topic.

    • bobbymike

      He did serve if the Air Force and follows military issues closely. It is totally unfair to put him in the Affleck or Sean Penn category, don’t you?

      • TACCOM

        No, I think he nailed it personally. Celebrity, however it is conferred, does not imbue an individual with expertise in any other field and service in the Air Force alone does not make him an expert on the A-10,, which I think is a worthwhile workhorse with few competitors. Chuck tends to believe his PR crap a bit too much and it has gone to his already swollen head.

        • bobbymike

          Not what I said I didn’t imply he was an expert only that he is far beyond the knowledge of a typical celebrity.

          If there was a line called people we should listen to about military matters with Susan Sarandon at one end and Clausewitz on the other, Chuck Norris is closer to Clausewitz than Sarandon.

      • chuck

        remember McNamara, the shoe salesman, that decided to be a military strategist? look what happen to the rolling thunder.

        • blight_

          Kennedy and Johnson made the decision to not invade North Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Rolling Thunder is the equivalent to the Drone War of today, performed with dumb bombs and live pilots against modern air defense systems. Failing to keep the Soviet Union and China out of the war logistically, and unable to develop an independent, self-sufficient ARVN (sound familiar?)…

    • Fred

      I was in the Air Force. That does not make me an expert on what the pentagon wants to do.

    • Lee

      You should try to see beyond your expansive nose and realize the true issue here. It is not Chuck, but the AF incompetence in deciding to replace CAS provided by the A10 with an aircraft that will not be available by 2019, if ever. You should ask the troops on the ground what they think. F35 carries about 4 seconds of 25mm rounds, or one short burst. It’s main weapon will not fit the bomb bay. Software for the main weapon won’t be available til 2021. Something is lacking in AF management: Intelligence.
      Keep it up Chuck.
      BTW, this is not about politics. It is about protecting the lives of our military. Survivability rules.

      • Nadnerbus

        Hey, how did you know I have a big nose!? That’s uncanny!

        I favor the exact position that Chuck is espousing, for all the reasons you cited and more, all of which I am already aware of. (…all of which of I am already aware? of which all I am already aware? I hate ending a sentence with a preposition but it always sounds so weird to do it right)

        Chuck is now known as a B grade movie action star with an internet meme that played out five years ago. His opinion, while I think correct, should not be influential in any defense policy decision. His prior service, while admirable, doesn’t change that.

        Next thing you know, the All Your Base Are Belong To Us guy is going to give us advice on US race relations.

        • Nadnerbus

          I didn’t vote for him, or any Democrat ever, but nice try.

  • Lance

    Think Chuck is smart and that makes anything other than a rock smarter than Obama’s USAF brass.

    • steve

      Hey idiot, the Air Force was trying to ditch the A-10 long before Obama was elected.

      • Kevin

        Some never miss a chance to interject politics whether or not the politics they’re pitching has anything to do with it.. Fascinating in its own way.

      • Charles

        Indeed. the “Chair Force” had the A-10’s all but on their way to the boneyard when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait (in 1990).

        Then, to their horror, the (during Desert Storm) A-10’s stunning effectiveness was so beyond anyone’s wildest expectations, that it gained notoriety wiht the public (in not the world) as something akin to a wonder weapon.

        The Chair Force was unhappily forced to shelve those plans to send the A-10 to the boneyard, as it would’ve made them look, um, un-smart.

        Today, given the Chair Force’s recent article in USA Today, that deliberately misrepresented the effectiveness of the platform, let alone the fratricidal statistics, in order to champion/justify once again sending the A-10 to the boneyard long before its supposed replacement is ready – the USAF command has once again demonstrated they are not worthy of the taxpayers trust.

    • tom north

      Typical racist rant. Like any president chooses the air force brass. Of course if George Cloony tried to save the A 10 you would call it a socialist plot to destroy our military. The truth is that Norris has been hit in the head too many times during one of his many terrible movies. Now with a few years in the air force, nowhere near close air support operations, and a little fancy dental work, he has become a CAS aircraft expert. The A-10 is obsolete. It would never survive in a high threat environment, it is too costly to maintain at this point and on and on. The future of CAS is drones. 10 times cheaper, and no loss of a pilot if shot down. And the newer precision munitions are much more effective than a gun.

      I trust the Air Force brass to make the proper decision over weaponry over some Hollywood never was selling exercise equipment, or some congressman who wants to save his job. Or some guy named Lanth.

      • Jacob

        How do you put your trust into a bunch of people who hold positions in the AF Brass that have also held positions with companies supplying technology for the F-35 and other weapon systems ? They’ve become salesmen for Lockheed Martin and all the tech required for it.

      • Jacob

        I think we should be discussing the plans for a new a-10 line. Rebuild the aircraft with newly founded ideas. We have the capabilities to build upon these battle proven systems and the A-10 is no exception.

        Russia still relies upon su25sm aircraft to make up the majority of their air divisions. We shouldn’t be so quick to jump to the future when we have a rock solid foundation we have yet to finish building on.

  • Curt

    Chuck Norris doesn’t do push-ups, he pushes the world down!

    • NathanS

      I once asked Chuck Norris how many push-ups he did. He replied, “All of them”.

  • Christopher

    Blind squirrel finds a nut eh?

  • Nicky

    Guantuanamo Bay, Cuba, is the military code-word for “Chuck Norris’ basement”.

  • Nicky

    Chuck Norris rejoins Delta Force: 10:31am. Osama Bin Laden dead : 10:32am.

  • Nicky

    According to CNN, Chuck Norris was commanding the SEAL team in Afghanistan. When Osama found that out, he shot himself in the head.

  • Nicky

    The U.S. Army was created as back up for Chuck Norris

    • Jim

      Chuck Norris needs no backup

      • M40

        Someone’s gotta mop up all the blood… and Chuck Norris doesn’t mop.

  • Ed

    I agree with the Air Force, they should retire the A-10,

    Congress should immediately transfer the A-10 to the Army,

    . . . along with enough Funding to upgrade and support,

    ““There’s only so much you can get out of that airplane.

    . . . Those airplanes are gonna wear out.”

    The “if it has a wing, it must belong belong to the Air Force,” concept,

    . . . isn’t working for the A10 in the Air Force,

    . . . but, the A10 works “Big Time,” for the men on the Ground.

    OR

    . . . Offer the A10 and Funding to the Marines,

    . . . they are experts at close ground support, and

    . . . could tach them some new tricks,

    . . . on how to get the most out of the planes.

    • Bailey

      The only problem with giving it to the Marine Corps is that in isn’t a Carrier based aircraft. If they can get the A-10 aircraft carrier operational, then by we will be unstoppable.

    • sw614

      Marines do not want them. Opted for the AV-8 years ago and have stuck with it. The F-35 was actually borne out of a USMC program to replace the AV-8.

      Army cannot afford them. There is no funding to transfer, that is the whole issue; lack of funds. If you are going to chop the F-35 program and fund the A-10 then leave them where they are. Cost to transfer and set up under Army would be significant.

      Acft is 35-40 years old. Sooner or later it will have to be replaced with something. Yes, a newer A-10 would be nice, but DoD (including the USN and USMC) has long since decided that multi mission airframes is the way to go.

      • Randymar2311

        SW not true, The Marines were not allowed to buy them when they were built, because it was an Air Force baby. When the AF decided to retire them the first time after the first gulf war, the Marines said we would take them. The AF was forced to keep them in service as they are now. Trust me, EVERY Jarhead in the fleet would take an A-10 over a Harrier any day. But it’s all about the politics.
        Semper Fi

        • James

          They haven’t retired the 60 year old B 52. The aircrafts age means nothing. The deciding factor should be suitability for its unique mission. As for the F-35n that is a multi billion dollar rat hole that do keeps pissing money away on. And IF they ever field it I’m betting it won’t be able to do close air support for the Army without being shot down.

    • Tom

      Yes all aircraft do wear out … eventually. BUT, it depends on how badly the Air Farce wants to keep the aircraft flying. Consider the B52. The airframes are older than the crew members. Maybe we should retire the C130, C141, P3, and all the other great aircraft that are still serving. There is nothing in the pipeline that can do the same mission .as well.

      Yes (again) – transfer the A10 to the Army. It was originally designed to be a tank killer, and that’s Army business.

      • Kenny

        A little info regarding “older than it’s crewmembers”… from some of the actual crew I have met, they are currently flying the very same B-52 their grandfather’s piloted or crewed in.

    • miscogt

      Isn’t the B-52 still in service, introduced in 1955? the A-10 was introduced in 1977. the only thing that’s worn out is the Pentagon’s mindless planners

    • That Guy


      . . . Offer the A10 and Funding to the Marines,

      . . . they are experts at close ground support, and

      . . . could tach them some new tricks,

      . . . on how to get the most out of the planes.

      This. :D

      • USAF_4FOX

        And the Screw-tops would have them all augered into the ground or collide mid air by the end of the fiscal quarter.

  • hibeam

    Chuck Norris on the Warthog?…. Where does Snoop Dog stand?

  • Auyong Ah Meng

    If it ain’t Chuck Norris, No one wants!

  • Anon

    It is time the Army take charge and provide Close Air Support capability for itself above the level of attack helicopters. It is also time to reinstate the U.S. ARMY AIR CORP. They should procure a few wings of A -10 Thunderbolts and reincarnate the U.S. Army 8th Air Force, only now with warthogs and some sort of hardy fighters to provide them air cover. I don’t know which really, Harrier Jump Jets? F-22s? At any rate, the Air Force doesn’t really want the task of providing CAS anymore, if it ever really did. Let the Air Force focus on the Strategic Warfare and the Air Superiority it excels at. Let the Army take control of supporting the ground efforts and coordinating the CAS missions just becomes that much easier.

    • UAVGeek

      That is the height of glue sniffing. The USAF does way more than that, and even the Army has shot down operating the A-10 themselves.

      Get real.

  • bobbymike

    The GAU-8 is loaded with Chuck Norris punches

    • Vinceburg

      I actually used to be a weapons loader on A-10’s, and I have only one small correction to your statement and that is that we did try loading the GAU-8 with Chuck Norris punches once, but we had to stop using them because they shot holes all the way through to the other side of the planet just barely missing the Earth’s core. Those same punches also put a couple holes in Mars, Jupiter, and Pluto and are still on there way to the next galaxy. We’re praying that they don’t hit a star somewhere, and accidentally wipe out an entire solar system.

      P.S. I don’t know how your comment is in the negative with the thumbs down right now, (probably from these knucklehead trolls talking smack about Chuck Norris while hiding safely behind their computers) but I’m hoping it get’s into the positive. I thought it was pretty funny, and I gave you a thumbs up. I love Chuck Norris’isms (the one liner Chuck Norris jokes.)

      P.S.S. You know if Chuck Norris hit’s the thumbs up button on your comment a positive infinite symbol (+∞) will appear next to the thumbs up button and it will never go into the negative again. But if Chuck Norris hit’s the thumbs down button on your comment the computer you typed it from explodes, the fingers you typed it with fall off, and you are forever banned from posting comments on the internet again (that’s assuming you even have any fingers left with which to type.)

  • Michael

    Geez……….who cares what some two-bit has-been wanna-be actor thinks?

    • Vinceburg

      Geez………… who cares what some internet troll thinks of Chuck Norris. You’ve obviously never served in the military, or else you wouldn’t be talking smack on someone who is trying to save the best CAS (Close Air Support) jet the Air Force has. This jet has saved a whole helluva lot more servicemen’s lives than you have brain cells in your head. I’d like to see you call Chuck Norris two-bit has-been wanna-be actor to his face. He’s a 70 year old senior citizen that could still kick your a**.

      • Larry Kirk

        Amen Vinceburg…And anyone cares what Michael thinks..WHY..?? NOT

  • John Scior

    Compare the b-52 to the a-10 and one wonders were the comment “you can only get so much out of an airplane”. Its as simple as this. New weapons systems get priority over old ones no matter what the capability because a new system costs new money and appropriations. that means new lobbying dollars for congressmen and presidents. So many people and experts tout the superiority of the a-10 and yet there is a whole littany of people who support an alternative such as the f-35 because it means more money and further career opportunity. I contend that strategy and tactics aremore important than simply having the “latest and greatest’ technological whiz gadget on the battlefield. Too ad our troops will suffer once they kill the a-10. Hopefully it will prove as durble with congress as it has in combat, because it appears the Airforce is trying to shoot it down.

    • Steve

      Give me an A10 backed up by an F15 and no other country in the world has anything that can match them! The only reason the Air Force wants new planes is to line the pocket of some buddy who will give them a job when they retire. Save money and update what we have!

    • Bruce

      I agree with John Scoir. They are refurbing the B-52 as we speak. I worked on those birds that were built in the 50’s. Don’t tell me that a whole plane wears out. You just have to maintain them.

    • sw614

      Yes, B-52 was a good purchase but remember out of 744 B-52s built only 10% remain. The early versions served for very short periods and longer for later variants (15 years for C model, 18-21 for F model, less than 30 for D model, 32-35 for G models). The H models built 1960-1962 are still going. However all the bugs were not worked out until the G model came along. First worked on them back in the 70s (D, F, and G) and liked it.

      The new versus old argument has been going on for years. There is always accusations of kick backs, lining pockets, etc. It was said about the F-15 (why the F-4 is fine!), the M-1 tank, etc. These claims are largely (if not totally) baseless without any factual evidence, just conjecture.

      The A-10 has served well. I hope Congress will keep it funded. As to the F-35? It will probably be a good replacement for the early F/A-18s and the F-16s and bring more to the table. As a CAS acft (either with USAF or USMC) I have my doubts.

    • Jon Jorgensen

      Direct hit on the “lobbying dollars for congressmen” John . The F-35 is up around the 2 trillion mark now for an airplane it would be hard to find pilots for if Navy tomcats were up there as adversaries .

    • Rod

      I think the same applies to Generals and congressmen. You can only get so much out of them. Fortunately, we got more out of the Warthog than we did those ass clowns. Additionally I agree that the funding of new aircraft has come down to lining the pockets of these fools. Take a look at the workhourses of the AF, C-130 still going strong since 1954 and only costing $30 million, pluse it is planned to fly until it’s 100 years old, which I think it will do. The B-52 Stratofortress still going strong since 1952 with a cost of $53 million (1998 figures for the H model, 14.5 million for the B model). C-5 Galaxy still going since 1968. KC-135, refueling since 1956. Oh let us not forget the “Dragon Lady” U-2 still in the air since 1955. So just because its’ old does not mean that it is not useful and sometime new is not better look at the F22 and F35 for instance (Expensive POSs).

      • Riceball

        There’s one small flaw in your argument, while both the C-130 and B-52 are really old designs, there are no airframes of either aircraft currently in serviced that date back to when they first flew. The BUFF fleet is old but not quite 60 some odd years old, I think the youngest BUFF was built in the late ’50s or early ’60s, I don’t know about the C-130 fleet but I’m pretty certain that we aren’t still flying the original first model Hercs any more. By contrast with the A-10, we are still using the same A-10s that first rolled off the production lines back in the ’70s, granted they’ve been upgraded and updated over the years but they are still the same old airframe and not new models.

        Having said that, I am in agreement with you on the sentiment of your post. What the Air Force really needs to do is work on a true successor to the A-10. Use modern materials and technology to design a modern, 21st century A-10.

    • Retired MSgt

      Well spoken….that would be common sense. But who in Congress or especially the Pentagon has that anymore?

      • Donald Barnard

        I have not had a whole lot of confidence in congress since they felt that Paratroopers should be eliminated from the services. Yet, we use them in nearly every conflict we have been in for a number of tasks. As shock troops in combat; the ability to take and hold airfields so planes can land and other areas be used as forward support bases. Not to mention that they are some of the bravest and hardest finding troops ever! This goes for the paratroops of every country. Put a paratrooper on notice and the next real command they want to hear is “GO” at the green light!

  • Muttling

    There used to be a street name Chuck Norris Drive, but they had to change to name. Everyone who tried to cross Chuck Norris died.

  • Fitzburgh

    Why does Chuck Norris only make love missionary style? Cause he never screws up!!!

  • Chuck Stable

    When I saw the headline of this article, I thought the comment section would include some good Chuck Norrisims involving the A-10. Sadly, I’m mostly seeing the usual Norrisims. Come on people, where’s the usual creativity??

  • Ryan

    If every soldier on the ground that ever had their bacon saved by the A10 were to write a letter with their personal experience and send it to Congress and the Air Force I think it would make a much bigger impact than a letter from a celebrity.

    • Tad

      Well, maybe they’ll read this article by the celebrity and decide to write their own letters.

  • txkboy

    If it’s Chuck approved, the pentagon’s screwed! The only reason the generals want to scrap it is because they are looking forward to line their own pockets with a big defense contractor.

    • Larry Kirk

      No…THe Pentagon forced the Air Force to field the black hole called the F-35 and now it is sucking up ALL its funds. And the F-35 is a POS. THe AF would love to keep the A-10 but is forced to choose.

  • Mark

    If the current fleet of A10 aircraft not serviceable than the JCs should get appropriations to replace them. That aircraft has proved it’s worth to the troops on the ground that were supported by the platform.

    The Air Force not wanting this platform should be a non-issue. The Air Force it there not only for strategic purposes but ground force support. Isn’t that part of the AFs mission?

    We all know what the issue is, politicians with their own agendas funneling money to their constituents who are blessed and have jobs producing the new strike fighter. It’s to bad supporting troops on the ground didn’t have priority.

  • Andrew

    Chuck Norris once ate an entire birthday cake before realizing a stripper was supposed to pop out of it.

  • LPF

    Yea though I walk in the valley in the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil…becuase Chuck Norris walks beside me

  • Blake

    Maybe we can modify the A-10 fleet to run off of Chuck Norris extract. Then the aircraft won’t need funding

    • jp083

      No, you would rather the taxpayers spend another multibillion on a useless “air strike” fighter? They’re saying this won’t be won from the air. How much do we need to spend to blow an antenna off a roof? I’ve seen from experience where the “old” Warthog would be more beneficial to our ground troops!

  • UAVGeek

    Just remember, Chuck Norris got his ass beat by Bruce Lee.

    • Christopher

      His old friend would also be ashamed of old Chuck now. Only Mall Ninjas care about what this washed up Fighter Jock hack has to say. This is just a half assed attempt to stay relevant.

    • Gdoc63

      In a fight choreographed by Chuck Norris

    • crackedlenses

      That’s because the only person more awesomesauce than Chuck Norris is Bruce Lee, the Master himself.

    • A

      Actually that scene had some unique special effects applied to it to make it look like Bruce had won. The only way it was believable was because the specisl effects were provided by none other than chuck norris. IRL .. Bruce lee died. Chuck Norris did not.

  • Chris

    “Its firepower capability, speed and accuracy, frequent war use, and the oft-painted teeth on its nose cone have made it one of the military’s most popular aircraft,” Norris wrote. Norris said its “combination of large and varied ordnance load, long loiter time, accurate weapons delivery, austere field capability, and survivability has proven invaluable to the United States and its allies.”……..Totally correct, that is why it will be retired……BTW, as far as it wearing out, guess the B-52 was the exception.

  • Vinceburg

    Let me say to all the people on here saying that the Air Force doesn’t like flying Close Air Support, that the Army should take over flying the A-10, that the A-10 is going to wear out, and that Chuck Norris doesn’t know what he’s talking about that you are all wrong. Let me preface this by saying that I was an A-10 weapons loader and deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan with them in 2008, and before I even arrived in country while I was at Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan, before I had even loaded a bomb or a bullet I met some soldiers who thanked me for doing my job (being a weapons loader on the A-10) because it had saved their lives more than once. I told them that I hadn’t done anything worthy of their gratitude yet and they replied “Well, you will, and this is for the guys lives that you will be saving.” Firstly, the Air Force has been doing nothing but CAS in every war we’ve been in since Vietnam (Vietnam being the last war where the Air Force also had air to air dog fighting as well as CAS.) I have yet to meet a pilot that says that he doesn’t like flying CAS. They all say there’s no better feeling than knowing you’re saving ground troops lives. In fact that’s been the mission for all of the Air Force’s fighter aircraft (F-15’s, 16’s, and 22’s) since we haven’t faced an enemy with an actual air force to fight against that we didn’t wipe out in a day. So it would be a waste of money and resources to create an Army Air Corps (which is what the Air Force is if everyone forgot where the Air Force came from.) Next, the A-10 isn’t going to wear out anytime soon. We have B-52 bombers that are still flying today and aren’t scheduled to be decommissioned for another 50 years, so there’s no logic in saying that the A-10 is going to wear out. In 2005, the entire A-10 fleet began receiving the Precision Engagement upgrades that include an improved fire control system (FCS), electronic countermeasures (ECM), and smart bomb targeting. All A-10’s received this upgrade and were re-designated A-10C’s. The cost of upgrading, refurbishing, and service life extension plans for the A-10 force totaled $2.25 billion through 2013. The Air Force Material Command’s Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill AFB, Utah completed work on the A-10 precision engagement upgrade in January 2008. In 2007, the A-10 was subject to a service life extension program (SLEP); Boeing was awarded the contract to build as many as 242 A-10 wing sets in June 2007. In November 2011, two A-10s flew with the new wing fitted. In September 2013, the USAF awarded Boeing a $212 million follow-on contract for 56 new wings, increasing the total ordered to 173. Re-winging improves mission readiness, decreases maintenance costs, and allows the A-10 to be operational up to 2035. Lastly Chuck Norris was in the Air Force from 1958 to 1962 and served over seas at Osan Air Force Base in Korea. That gives him a lot more credibility in my book than any other celebrity that could come out in support of the A-10. But even if he never served he is still fighting for a good cause, trying to save the A-10, and lending his name to the cause gives it more attention in the press and will spread the word more about how wrong it will be to get rid of the A-10. And if you guys think the F-35 is going to do a better job let me just say this, it won’t be operationally ready until after 2020 and with the cost over runs and the fact that it only has the capacity to hold 200 20 mm rounds compared to the 1,350 30 mm (max capacity though normally 1,175) rounds the GAU-8 can hold. Or the 5 internal stations that can hold bombs and missiles on the F-35 compared to the 11 stations on the A-10 that can carry more than twice what the F-35 can (multiplied by three for each station that has a TER or triple ejector rack loaded on it to the layman) it just doesn’t make economical or logistical sense to get rid of the A-10 at this time. Keep this in mind too, a lot of the top Air Force brass will get cushy jobs with Lockheed after they retire for pushing to replace the A-10 now in favor of a jet that won’t be flying missions anytime soon. So that kinda makes me think that that is one of the reasons they are all pushing to get rid of A-10 so fast. Now tell me again why the Air Force should get rid of the A-10 and Chuck Norris is wrong for voicing his opinion on the matter?

    • Chris

      Good post! Thanks!

    • Lee

      Good write up. The AF needs to get a handle on new acquisitions. The F35 appears to be a bit ahead of either the technology or program management capability. It should be stopped due to the massive cost overruns and failure to meet specs. LM is over its head and needs to give it up. $238,000,000 per copy is excessive.

    • t1oracle

      It’s not the pilots that are the problem, it’s the top level brass.

    • jp083

      Excellent write up! (from another bomb loader 462) :). Afterwards, I also worked for one of the two DU round manufactures on a lot acceptance verification program on a range outside of Vegas and was closely (at times probably too close) exposed to the outrageous firepower and results of the GAU-8!

      All I can say is…..FAN…FING….TASTIC! Any doubts? Check on youtube. But much more impressive in real life post strike assessments.

  • Highguard

    So, the only answer then is to increase the Air Force Acquisition Budget. Some dedicated professionals in OSD(AT&L) who care (and there are still a few) must have figured this out by now?! This goes back to the point about the fact that the Air Force needs to grow, not shrink. I suspect Dr Carter, once he’s done lighting up a few ISIL mucks, will get around to ending this issue once and for all.

  • robert c. crawford

    The Wart Hog.put’s the fear o f Allah in the enemy.

  • robert c.crawford

    The time has come for all-out war….We have to stop this sitting on ou r hands,and get off the fences. Crusade? YES…

    .

  • USMC 0311

    Eventually the Air Force will get their way.
    BTW, the U.S. Air Force is Branch of the DOD since 1947, why are discussing historical U.S. Army Air Corps? Great history, but it’s history…
    OIF, OEF, OEF/ P, USMC Veteran

  • Jim Daubert

    Enough with the Chuck Norris jokes…..okay we all get them, but enough is enough. The simple truth is that the A-10 is without peer in the modern world. Chuck Norris is absolutely right in his support of this formidable weapon! The Russians have lots of SU-25 & SU-39 “Frog Foot” ground attack fighters in their inventory that could do some major damage to our mechanized infantry in Europe or the Middle East, but the Suchois are no match for the A-10 Warthog. The A-10 was designed and built around its formidable 30mm gun and it can lay down a wall of spent uranium shells that can vaporize any and every Soviet tank it will encounter and bring its pilot back alive. It flies low and slow and can take a severe pounding from ground fire yet continue to fly! This is low tech “close air support” that is so necessary for our troops on the ground. This is the A-10.

    America’s armed forces need this weapon now, more than ever before. Instead of retiring it, we need to manufacture at least 2000 more A-10s to bolster our present capabilities! The “arm-chair” generals in control of purchasing weapons systems are too much into accommodating the latest high tech gadgetry proposed by the arms lobbyists . Most of this stuff requires a link to some satellite communications protocol that would be an “Achellie’s Heel” in time of war.

    The A-10 needs our support because it is critical to the survival and effectiveness of our troops on the ground.

  • The Scotsman

    I feel the Air Force is jumping the gun about retiring the Deadly A-10 Wart Hog. The
    Air Force comments are saying the A-10 is worn out. Yes, it’s older, but still a strong
    main-stay Killer Aircraft. Worn Out? Then why is the B-52 still in service? I am an Air Force Veteran and a Korean War Veteran. I saw my first B-52 in March 1953 in a Fly-Over at Parks AFB. After I got discharged, I went to work for a California Fire Department located near Beale AFB. Worked closely with the Beale Fire Department
    involving the B-52 and the SR-71. The B-52 is 63 years old. Rebuilt several times and
    still in service. The A-10 is rebuildable and serviceable.
    The A-10 is an Ugly Duckling, but a worthwhile killer machine. I saw my first A-10
    right after the Gulf War ended. I had my Boy Scout Troop on a campout when an
    A-10 flew over the lake where we were camped. He flew by at eye level and I could see the pilots face. I threw him a salute, he returned the salute. A very impressive aircraft.
    Don’t throw them away Air Force, rebuild them and keep them in service. A great
    piece of killer hardware.

    • blight_

      The B-52H’s in service are the newest ones, with the older B-52’s that put in many hours in Chrome Dome or bombing Vietnam long since retired and scrapped, or chopped up for arms control purposes.

  • Lew

    I’m a Chuch Norris fan and also an AIR Force Veteran,,, and I support keeping the WARTHOG A-10 in service as long as it is effective against all those who are anti-sympathetic to it’s continued use!!! What other aircraft could fill into it’s place as a close ground support for troops in action!! I’ll use a quote of Marine fidelity,,”Semper Fi”!!!! Lew

  • bill

    why get rid of it now? 9 years ago we just started a major weapons overhaul to give it even more capability. i worked weapons on f15 a +c-e, f16 and a10. a10 wins hand down.

  • Chief Boring

    AF Vet Norris cares abut the troops. As a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, so do I. The A-10 is the best CAS fixed wing the AF has. It can do things Choppers can’t, and vice versa. Congress should see that it stays in service. BTW, Norris is 75; I’m 77! Fair winds and following seas.

  • Johann Santos

    If the air force want to dump the warthogs dont dump it just give it to the needy like the Philippines.

  • Jon

    So when does being a cop in the Air Force turned washed up actor qualify him to know better than the Air Force senior leaders? He never flew the plane so using some canned talking points. He needs to sit down somewhere and shut up..

    • Lee

      Maybe he is just a lot smarter than you are.

  • R King

    If the a-10 is too old, what about the buffs. The way they act about equipment is like the computer world, it’s old at two months so get rid of it. I think they should keep the planes and get rid of the brass.

  • Retire the Heap

    Norris needs to stick his nose in something other than saving a DOD aircraft. He is even selling T shirts!! Really??? This thing has wore out its welcome when it comes to maintenance, we can’t even get parts for the damn flying heap. It’s far past saving it, the AF has its mind made up and no washed up TV actor is going to save it. Let it go!! Nor will the A-10 going to defeat ISIS. It’s going to take boots on the ground ! Lets move on people!

  • Oldfalcon

    To my knowledge, there is no aircraft in the Military inventory or in development that can match or surpass the close in ground support capabilities of the A 10. Not even the AC 130. The Apache is a great ground support aircraft, but even it can’t match the firepower the Warthog can bring to bear. If the Air Force can keep the B 52 in active service for over a half century, why not the A10? I don’t understand the Pentagon’s rationale on this.

  • RP Daniels

    I am an Air Force veteran, and served a tour at Nellis AFB. I saw the capabilities of the A-10 daily, both on the ground, with it’s crews and in the air, at the Range, in close air support. I heard her crews and pilots speak about her with pride and bravado. I followed the Warthog’s exploits in the 1st Gulf War, and am still impressed at it’s combat readiness and service record. I would join the voices in the Armed Services, on the ground and in the air, that still marvel at her abilities and purpose filled usefullness. The brass at the Pentagon doesn’t fly this aircraft, and where they may be looking at her service life left and cost of continued operation and logistical support, you can’t argue about her value in theater to troops on the ground. I’m sure you could ask any Marine or Soldier who they would like to see in close air support when the SHTF, that the “Hog” is right up there with the Harrier and the Apache. Against heavy armor in combat, the Warthog can’t be beat…and now my favorite Chuck Norris observations
    (Chuck doesn’t like it if you call them jokes…)
    (Chuck Norris is not a joke…He’s a force to be reckoned with)

    Chuck Norris is so fast, he can turn out the light in his bedroom,
    and be back in bed under the covers before it’s dark in the room.

    Chuck Norris once ran around the world so quickly, he punched himself in the back of his head.

    The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, because Chuck Norris said so, and God listened.

    Chuck Norris never met a man he didn’t like, and beat up the ones he didn’t .

    The devil went down to Georgia, until Chuck Norris kicked his ass back to Hell.

    When Chuck Norris speaks, everybody listens…even if they don’t want to.

    Chuck Norris goes swimming in shark infested waters…in his pool; they wouuldn’t dare bite.

    No one has ever dared challenge Chuck Norris to a fight…and lived to tell anyone.

  • RP Daniels

    Chuck knows…everything.

  • RP Daniels

    The 1st Gulf War ended because General Schwartzkopf told the Iraqis that Chuck Norris was coming…so they quit right there.

    There were no WMD’s in Iraq…because Chuck Norris had them for breakfast.

    There’s no need to march with the Ark of the Covenant before you in battle to be victorious…
    just let Chuck do it, and no one would dare ever fight again.

    Chuck Norris is the only man to ever call Superman a wimp…and get him to believe it.

    Chuck Norris fears no man…or woman.

    President Roosevelt said “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself (and Chuck Norris)”.

  • Bagpiper

    How about a little respect guys?
    When the US Government wanted to bury the POW/MIA issue,
    Chuck Norris made two Movies about MIAs being held in Communist camps that provoked a National Discussion and Congress forced the military to recover lost Americans from not only Viet Nam, Laos, and Cambodia, but Korea and WW II.
    Even the Unknown Soldier from WW II and KOREA have been identified.
    On a personal level, Chuck Norris has always been a supporter of the American Military. He is always involved in Veteran’s causes.
    Just because he plays an awsome good guy, cut him a break. From all I have heard, he really is one, just look at all the charity work he has done with (not for) inner city kids!
    And just because he has been out of the Air Force for some time,
    Doesn’t mean he became an idiot. I would not be surprised that he didn’t stay in touch with modern weapons and Technology. I know I have and I have been out of the Army 53 years.
    I have even seen the Warthog do its thing at a firepower demonstration several years ago. Veteran’s Groups get invited to such things.

    So I give Chuck Norris a double thumbs up for supporting the A-10. If it wasn’t for the 1957 Key West agreement that decided, who flew what, the A-10 would have belonged to the Army and the Marines. But there is a lot of Interservice politics at play there.

    The Air Force does not want to be in the Close Air Support business and hasn’t since it was spun off from the Army in 1947. The Generals see it as diverting resources from the Fighters and Bombers. And it is dirty fighting and not sexy enough. You might have to watch your bullets kill someone, rather than blowing them away from 50,000′.

  • Clay

    I’m sorry. I didn’t read the whole thread, the Norris jokes were getting to me .I love the Warthog too, and don’t thing it’s production should be discontinued,,,especially for the Marine’s support. Why do you suppose the Marines still have the helo, the Cobra?

    But, I think the newest version of the F-18 and & F-35 & F-22 were made to make the Warthog a Marine close-support weapon Obsolete?

    • blight_

      Production discontinued a long time ago. The question is not production, but continuing to keep the A-10 in inventory or not. Accept that if we go to war again, the A-10s that will be lost on day one will not be replaced. While supply chains exist to repair A-10’s, putting together the assembly line to build new A-10’s will require considerable effort.

      Marines retain the Cobra for the same reason the Army maintains its Apaches. The A-10’s aren’t always used for close air support, and during the AirLand days were probably intended to attack targets beyond the front lines.

  • janes smith

    YOU GUYS ARE DOING A GREAT JOB ON CHUCK NORRIS KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

  • 1943carr

    I wonder if anyone knows what Norris’s AFSC was, how long he served and where. What celebs will do to get their name in print…..

    • Lee

      You should really read what he is saying and try to understand the issues before you get so particular about who he was. The F35 is not a good CAS platform.

  • Tom

    Chuck is the A-10!!! Whenever he shows up, tanks just die!!!

  • OldKla

    The politicians need to review the length of time that the T-37, T-38, C-130, and the B-52 have been or were in service. Mr. Norris has the courage to speak up and tell it like it is. The politicians are wrong about the Warthog, it is an incredible weapon against the current type of warfare the US is facing, ask any military personnel on the ground calling for air support.

  • Jb1rd

    I spent 23 years in the USAF and I believe the A-10 to be the JEEP version to the U.S.Air Force. I say spend the hundred thousand dollars to upgrade the bird and save billions by not buying the newest toy the lobbyists come up with.

  • FUZZY777

    KEEP THE A-10. UPDATE THE TECH IF NEED BE, THE SAME GOES FOR THE B-52. FLYING THESE AIRCRAFT IS WHAT TECH GIVES THEM. DELIVERY IS AWSOME!!!!

  • Big Bill

    Lets see – A-10 carries 1174 rounds of 30MM, F-35 carries 189 rounds of 25MM; A-10 gun can be fired now, F-35 gun won;t be useable until 2022. Enemy is 600 feet from you and the A-10 can zap them NOW. F-35 can only drop a bomb–or make a high speed pass.
    Bottom line – an F-35 is NOT capable of providing good close air support to our troops.

    • Lee

      I don’t think it can drop a bomb yet. It is too big to get into the bay. Maybe in a few years, if they can get the software written by then.

  • jossie lawless

    They are still trying to get the F-35s computers to be able to count the correct number of targets. The A-10 destroys all the targets and counts them later.

  • E. Biggins

    Chuck Norris’s tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried, ever!

  • eddyjames

    Warthogs that wear out isn’t a problem. Just re-open the assemble line and build a few thousand more. Scrap the F-35 and build more F-22’s, Twice the plane, twice as fast, twice the range and twice the arms load.

    • Riceball

      It’s not as easy as just re-opening the lines. The lines have closed years ago, the personnel moved or retired, the machinery either repurposed or sent to the scrap yards, and most importantly of all Fairchild (the original manufacturer of the A-10) is no longer in business. At this point the best thing to do would be to build a true replacement for the A-10, something that’s not a fast mover pretending to be dedicated CAS aircraft.

      • bart ninja

        starting over and retooling would still be cheaper than the F-35 IMHO.

  • Dennie Boyt

    The A-10 is one of the best aircraft the Air Force has ever had in its arsenal. This airplane is not only deadly but can fly after being shot up. Check out Col Dave Sawyer of the 23rd TFW in Desert Storm. The leading edge of his right wing was basically gone but the place flew. This plane has many years left; keep them in service.

  • xo cho

    Let Bill Gates save the A-10..oh, I forgot, he is busy saving the trees in Africa, which probably is a better since they give us oxygen. A-10’s are just used for killing.

  • Dick Brooks

    The P-47 was THE thunderbolt…a WW-II icon…no other plane deserves that name.
    Dick Brooks, Capt USAF ret.

  • The Watchman

    This country has always built planes out of great concepts. Why not improve on the concept instead getting the latest and greatest. Questions, can a F-35 provide close air with out leaving the AOR support like the A-10? If it were you, would rather lose a $90 million dollar aircraft or a $450 million dollar aircraft. When compiling your answers please factor in common sense and then do the math. And folks please quit blaming everything on the president. Just say what you really feel about him and quit hiding behind the racist remarks. Just admit that you don’t like the man because you are a racist. He’s our commander-in chief and let’s move on.

  • Reily

    Without Chuck Norris a wart hog would only be a pimple pig.

  • Gregoryallison

    Why is the A-10 “warthog” different and better than all the zippy new planes in one critical situation? Four reasons: One, It’s tough, very tough to bring down by a enemy ground force. Two, it’s slow and maneuverable; it can stay hover around a small area supporting a company, platoon or squad on the ground. Three, its deadly. The warthog can lay down a massive amount of 50 cal fire that will quickly decimate and terrify an opposing force. Four, it can stay aloft for hours, providing support for army of Marine units. Not a sexy new plane, just a great one that needs to be kept in our arsenal.

  • ed wenham

    I concur Chuck. Its nowhere near worn out and I believe vary valuable asset to use to fight current treats and less costly to maintain than an expensive advanced fighter. As a 26 year Air Force fighter crew chief my opinion has considerable merrit.

  • Ron Roy

    I am also an Air Force veteran with 22 years of service in the Air Force. I was stationed at Osan Air Base where the A-10 were posted. I had the pleasure of seeing the A-10 close up and let me tell you the sound close up that the gun barrel makes when the munitions are being loaded scared the sh*! out of me- the most scariest sound I ever heard. The A-10 is the most versatile aircraft for air to ground I have ever seen. It can put a bullet in every square inch of a battlefield in a matter of seconds. For those who criticize the value of the A-10, you need to talk to ground combat troops. As far as parts for the aircraft are concerned, there are thousands of vendors and manufacturers who carry various aircraft parts for all aircraft. How do I know this? I work as a civil servant to find parts for B-52, KC-135, B-1 and other aircraft. Last resort, you can get them at Davis Monthan AFB at the boneyard. So don’t tell me there are no parts for this fine aircraft. So, I totally agree with Chuck Norris. Getting rid of the A-10 would be one of the biggest mistakes the Air Force could make.

  • Support for the A-10

    The F-35 and the A-10 are two completely different types of aircraft built for entirely different types of wartime scenarios. The wars we are now fighting don’t need a super-sonic aircraft firing rockets at targets the pilot never sees and is on his way home before the rocket finds its target. Our ground troops need the close air support of the lower, slower, more target selective, incredibly deadly destructive force of the A-10 with its 30mm gattiling gun and other armaments. Just the sound of the gun the aircraft is built around instills fear in the minds of our enemies.

  • James Miller

    As a fellow Air force veteran, like Chuck Norris, I have seen first hand what a A10 is capable of, It is a flying tank, it has triple redundancy, the pilot sits in a titanium bath tub, I have seen it take a tremendous amount of abuse, wings nearly shot off, riddled with holes, blasted by SAM missiles and yet it still fly’s. It is the ” Chuck Norris” of planes. There is nothing out there that even comes close to it, it’s survivability, it’s payload, and it’s sure out right destructive enlightenment of pure intervention.
    For all the individuals with negative comments, you have no clue and have probably never served a day in your life or you would know first hand about a A10 and would have nothing but praise for it.
    The Air Force getting rid of the A10 is nothing but political bureaucrats trying to make personal gain, trying to get the latest and so called greatest new toy. A toy that hasn’t even proved its self, will need upgrades right of the box, years fixing all the bugs in order to operate properly let alone flying a mission, and in the end spend trillions of dollars on something that will never come close to the already paid for A10.
    If the Air Force does decide to get rid of the A10, more than likely it will go to Marines, and they will be getting one hell of a good plane.

  • Rob C.

    Good Luck Chuck, Airforce was reportedly trying sabotage efforts to save A-10.
    If their budget so bad they can’t keep effective plane in the air verses one that has problems and may not be able do mission for the plane is replacing. The people in Airforce who undertaking these political moves should be canned. Badly.

  • david

    Chuck Norris, is a political Neanderthal, a poser, and the world’s worst actor. If he were any more wooden he’s be a tree.

  • Anthony

    Good luck on keeping the A10’s around a little longer. Good anti-tank weapon to have when you don’t have an extra billion dollars laying around just to purchase one each of one of those new models defense contractors want to stiff tax payers for. Now if we could get Chuck to do some eight degree black belt with congress!!!!

  • sounder47150

    The world hasn’t ended Chuck.

  • Lee

    The reason there is no life on Mars is that Chuck Norris went the once and someone pissed him off.

  • wpnexp

    A-10 should be placed on low rate duty, consolidated in a single airfield, with enough maintainers to keep each plane flying. Pilots, both reserve and active, should should be cycled through to keep the planes flying and the pilots certified in flying them. Then they should only be used for contingencies as paid for by Congress. Updates to aircraft should be made only as paid for by Congress.