News reports coming out of Washington seem to have given new life to the A-10 “Warthog” close air support attack jet, rendering needless all the efforts of Boise City and Idaho State officials to attract the F-35 to replace the A-10.
Idaho Air National Guard spokesman Major Chris Borders told the GUARDIAN Wednesday, “We have seen the news reports, but so far there has been no official word received here.”
Back in Washington during a budget briefing Tuesday the Air Force confirmed that it plans to maintain the majority of its A-10 Warthogs in coming years despite past considerations of divesting the entire fleet.
The move could be a nice little windfall for the Idaho Dept. of Commerce. Gov. Butch Otter got a $100K appropriation from the legislature on behalf of Commerce to promote the F-35. If the money is not spent, it will go into the Department of Commerce coffers.
“If the A-10s remain it will be a blessing for the community,” said Dan Marler of the Citizens for a Livable Boise group which has opposed the F-35. He added, “it will also give the city and Air Guard time to prepare for the future of Gowen Field.