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Gen. Mark Welsh: Joint Force Needs to Prioritize Resources; AF Eyes Close-Air Support to Replace A-10

Mark Welsh
Mark Welsh

Gen. Mark Welsh, chief of staff for the U.S. Air Force, has said the joint force needs to prioritize planning and resources as the U.S. tackles multidomain and transnational threats, DoD News reported Wednesday.

Jim Garamone writes Welsh, who is scheduled to retire by the end of June after a 40-year military career, gave the remarks at a Defense Writers Group event held in Washington Wednesday.

“The chairman [of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] really has to be the one, along with the Joint Staff, to do that direction and prioritization,” he said, according to the report.

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. also reports for Breaking Defense that Welsh told event attendees that he would like the service branch to have a new close air support plane that would replace the A-10 “Warthog” jet aircraft as well a sixth-generation fighter jet designed to combat hostile air defenses.

“Eventually, I think the right close air support replacement is something that’s overhead for ground forces all the time,” Welsh said.

Welsh noted that the service branch does not have funds and enough manpower to build and fly a new CAS aircraft, Freedberg reports.

“The A-10 has never been the issue… The issue is the Budget Control Act,” he added.

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