Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.) is highlighting his role in keeping the Air Force’s venerable A-10 “Warthog” fleet flying in his latest campaign ad.

{mosads}Defense Department officials have argued eliminating the fleet would save $3.5 billion over five years and that the aircraft’s close air support mission could be carried out by other platforms. 

The proposed cut has proven to be one of the most controversial ideas in the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015 budget request and has been summarily rejected by lawmakers in both chambers. 

“No one has worked harder to save the A-10 aircraft than Ron Barber,” Maureen Phillips, a veteran who served as a tactical intelligence officer for A-10 missions, says in the 30-second spot called “Flying.”

“He’s taken on his own party and worked across the aisle to save the A-10. Ron Barber does what’s right for southern Arizona,” she adds. 

Barber, who faces a tough reelection rematch against Martha McSally (R) — herself a retired Air Force pilot — successfully introduced amendments to the House’s defense authorization and appropriations bills to keep the Warthog in the air.

The Tucson District is the home of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, which features roughly 80 Warthogs.

Tags Air Force Arizona-2 Martha McSally Ron Barber

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