The USAF is getting rid of 5 A-10 squadrons in favor of the F-35. This shows poor air power thinking. The USAF has been woefully short of real air power leaders for some years now. This also highlights how a service that consumes up to $160B per year has trouble making ends meet. Scary.
The general quoted in the article somehow thinks that the F-35 will be combat capable in a multi-role environment but has no proof to back up that idea. The F-35 program is in deep trouble.
This quote from a recent government report makes things very clear:
The JSF Operational Test Team completed an operational assessment of the F-35 program and determined that it is not on track to meet operational effectiveness or operational suitability requirements. The JSF Operational Test Team assessed the program based on measured and predicted performance against requirements from the JSF Operational Requirements Document, which was re-validated in 2009."
Even in the unlikely event that the F-35 ever gets fielded, it only carries 150 rounds of gun ammo. Experience has shown that ground troops still need strafing.
Someone got a bee in their bonnet about multi-mission aircraft having the only true value. OK, well, you have to actually field something that works to replace existing capability. What the USAF is doing is hoping that the F-35 works out with no proof to back up their pet theory. That makes their version of air power thinking just as dangerous to the defense of the United States as any enemy.
Current USAF leadership are ruining the combat capability of the service. It is time for our Congress to realize this and stop it.