Posted: 12:53 pm Monday, June 30th, 2014

Jack Kingston aims to become the next Sam Nunn 

By Jim Galloway

A U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft assigned to the 47th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron is parked on the flight line Feb. 16, 2012, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The A-10?s 30mm GAU-8 heavy rotary canon is visible below the aircraft?s nose. U.S. Air Force

A U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft assigned to the 47th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron is parked on the flight line Feb. 16, 2012, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The A-10?s 30mm GAU-8 heavy rotary canon is visible below the aircraft?s nose. U.S. Air Force

Jack Kingston, one of two Republicans remaining in the race for U.S. Senate, said Monday he would pursue a seat on that chamber’s Armed Services Committee should he win the nomination in July and the November election.

The announcement is a significant one: If Kingston beats David Perdue on July 22, he’ll face Democrat Michelle Nunn, whose father, Sam Nunn, was the longtime chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee – and one of the foremost defense experts of his period.

Kingston made his remarks during a well-placed presser in Marietta, at the end of the runways of Dobbins Air Reserve Base.

Among his priorities, Kingston said, would be the next round of military base reductions and closings – “an issue that will always be out there.”

“Part of what we need to do is make sure we’re always looking for new missions – what else can be done on that base to expand it? What kind of military needs do they have?” Kingston said.

kingston2

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, AJC file

It came as no surprise, given that the aircraft are stationed at Moody Air Force Base near Valdosta, within his congressional district, but Kingston said he would be a Senate advocate for the A-10 Warthog – a ground-troop support aircraft currently on the chopping block as a cost-cutting measure.

Here’s a quick bit of background from Time magazine:

The A-10’s titanium-clad cockpit and self-sealing fuel cells protects its lone pilot. Manual flight controls back up its hydraulic system. These give the A-10 pilot the confidence to fly low and slow to take out enemy armor or troops with the eye-watering seven-barrel GAU-8 Gatling gun protruding from under its nose.

Said Kingston:

“The people who like the A-10 the best aren’t just our friends in the Air Force, but it’s the Marines and soldiers, because the A-10s can get down close…

“Sometimes you can’t get an F-16 in. It’s too far away. You’ve got to get somebody in who’s close-range, low-altitude. That’s what the A-10 does. I do not think we should discontinue the A-10 at this time, because there is not a suitable replacement that’s out there.

“Furthermore, the cost per hour of an A-10 is far less than it is on another weapons system. An A-10 is $29,000 an hour to fly. But an F-16 is something like $30,000.”

The Hill, a news website devoted to Congress, has a piece today linking sequestration to the future of the A-10:

The real problem with this outcome is that the future is here. America’s declining military superiority is no longer an imminent threat, but a “here now” problem in the words of one Pentagon official.

The A-10 will ultimately be approved for retirement absent any significant changes to budget caps. Not this year, but in the coming two years at some point. It is not a question of “if,” but “when,” because the alternatives immediately go from bad to worse. Also, there are many members without an obvious or parochial interest in this debate who have started to weigh in, supporting the Air Force.

34 comments
mrob
mrob

Jim, I think, Kingston aim is too far "off sight" to become a Nunn.

DDavis0505
DDavis0505

Clearly commentators on this site don't understand what Kingston is talking about when he suggests we need to look for  new missions.  The military is always creating new types of units and retiring old systems - like the A-10.  Kingston is suggesting that if the miliary is going to create new units or close bases and move missions elsewhere, it might make sense to create or move those missions to Dobbins or elsewhere in Georgia. He's not talking about new combat missions overseas, he's talking about doing new and different things at existing installations in Georgia and keeping the installations open suppporting our natioal defense strategy.  

mrob
mrob

 “Part of what we need to do is make sure we’re always looking for new missions – what else can be done on that base to expand it? What kind of military needs do they have?”, Kingston said.

--------------------------------------


Did he (Kingston) meant we need to drop "Bombs" as a means to expand our military base? Do we have the money to fund Kingston imaginary and dangerous missions? 


I think we have seen this mentality before that was demonstrated and found in the GOP play book of George Bush version II vol. 3 of the expand strategy"How to Scare Voters For Your Support And Waste Taxpayers Money, The GOP Dud".


There you have it people, a "dud" running for office. He's no Conservative.


Kingston, is no Nunn. 


Vote for the "real" Nunn, Michelle Nunn.

Derwin0
Derwin0

Considering Kingston is on the House Defense Appropriations committee, and Georigia has numerous bases, it makes snese for him to apply for the Senate Armed Forces committee.

DohBee
DohBee

Like G W Bush saying he was like "plain spoken Harry Truman."   GW Bush couldn't carry Truman's sack and neither can Kingston carry Sam Nunn's.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

The do nothing congressman wants to go to the senate to continue to do absolutely nothing but obstruct and keep the president from doing his job....

While the Army is downsizing from about 570,000 troops to a projected 450,000, its report was written to show how severe reductions could become if the Pentagon faces more automatic, across-the-board budget cuts because the president and Congress can't agree on future budgets.~~~~Associated press June 27, 2014

NWGAL
NWGAL

Don't drones do exactly what he says he wants - close range, low altitude? Bet he still likes phones which must be dialed.

td1234
td1234

The only reason I ever voted for Sam Nunn and Buddy Darden was their views on having a strong military. Once the hawks left the Democratic party they became a useless party. 

William1952
William1952

I suggest someone poll the troops on the ground in combat zones on their opinion of the A-10.

DS
DS

The Pentagon doesn't even want to keep flying the A-10. Secretary Hagel says the A-10 is outdated, vulnerable to modern air defenses, and unnecessary given modern precision ground support technology.

http://news.usni.org/2014/02/25/pentagon-retiring-air-forces-u-2-10-warthog-latest-budget-deal

Jack Kingston, on the other hand, wants to force the Pentagon to keep flying the A-10 because there's a squadron based at Moody AFB in south Georgia. He's treating the Pentagon budget as his cash cow, interfering with their ability to do their job effectively.

Jack Kingston is no Sam Nunn.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

From the film "Field of Dreams":  "Build it and they will come."


Build up the U. S. military, and the U. S. will find a way to use our military in the world to destroy and kill, instead of using our diplomatic corps to build and save lives.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


From President Barack Obama’s speech at Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt, on June 4, 2009:


“America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere.


For we have learned from recent experience that when a financial system weakens in one country, prosperity is hurt everywhere. When a new flu infects one human being, all are at risk. When one nation pursues a nuclear weapon, the risk of nuclear attack rises for all nations. When violent extremists operate in one stretch of mountains, people are endangered across an ocean. And when innocents in Bosnia and Darfur are slaughtered, that is a stain on our collective conscience. That is what it means to share this world in the 21st century. That is the responsibility we have to one another as human beings.


“This is a difficult responsibility to embrace. For human history has often been a record of nations and tribes subjugating one another to serve their own interests. Yet in this new age, such attitudes are self-defeating. Given our interdependence, any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail. So whatever we think of the past, we must not be prisoners of it. Our problems must be dealt with through partnership; progress must be shared.”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


N. C. writer Thomas Wolfe wrote in 1937: “Toward which the conscience of the world is tending —  A wind is rising, and the rivers flow.”


Michelle Nunn is, by far, more in tune with this "conscience to which the world is tending" than is Jack Kingston or David Perdue.  Georgians should elect Michelle Nunn as their next U. S. Senator.  Her voice of substance, prudence, and wisdom needs, desperately, to be heard in Congress. She has been well raised to assume this position of responsibility by her father, Sam Nunn.

Brosephus
Brosephus

Nothing says, “I’m a fiscal conservative Republican” like forcing government spending on military equipment that the military wants to retire. Some Georgia residents are easily duped by mirrors and flashing neon lights.

AvailableName
AvailableName

Once an earmark king, I suppose always an earmark king.  The Air Force doesn't want the A-10, congressional leadership doesn't want it.  Kingston wants it.  I guess he's a FairTax and spend kind of pol - lighten the tax burden on the rich (and ending taxes for corporations) by imposing a regressive sales tax on everyone else and then use the money to buy obsolete planes we don't need or want. 

honested
honested

"Make sure we are always looking for new missions".....

I thought you guys just finished up another whine session about cutting government waste?

mrob
mrob

@DDavis0505


Kingston need to be more specific of his military plans than just making political points for the GOP to exhibit his strength for our military.

The "strength of a Nunn' is what Kingston is missing and Kingston is no "Nunn" in this election. 

honested
honested

@td1234 

So you fall into the 'make sure we are always looking for new missions (where we can waste taxpayer money chasing gremlins)' camp?

Kamchak
Kamchak

@William1952 

 I suggest someone poll the troops on the ground in combat zones on their opinion of the A-10.

The military is not run like a democracy.

td1234
td1234

@DS It is the current administration that does not want to keep the program. The ground combat troops love the A-10's and believe they are an important part of the mission. 

Derwin0
Derwin0

@MaryElizabethSings Does that mean Carter was raised to pick peanuts by his grandfather and be an awful governor & President?  Sorry, but just because her daddy was Sam doesn't mean she'll be as good a Senator as him.  Her positions aren't even close to his.  And no one should be elected solely because of who their (grand)father was.

td1234
td1234

@Brosephus A strong military and keeping this country safe is one of the few legitimate duties of the Federal Government. We can cut most of the rest of the Federal government, if needed, to continue to have a strong military. 

TBS
TBS

@Brosephus 

Kingston is just trying to protect our country.  You unAmerican Americans want the US to be vulnerable to Mooslem terrorists.

We must fight over them there with the Warthog or they will come to 'Merica.........  or something like that.



RadicalRuralDem
RadicalRuralDem

@honested When it comes to shedding the blood of brown people, no amount of debt is too much for Republicans.

DS
DS

@td1234, I recently read Robert Gates' book, Duty, and he saved his biggest criticism for Congress. They treat the Pentagon budget as their ATM, which made it very difficult for him to get the funding he really needed for the programs he really wanted.

Last I heard, the military is not a democracy, where soldiers get to vote on what they want.

It's up to the Secretary of Defense, service chiefs and joint chiefs of staff to develop strategy and plans for current and future defense needs.

honested
honested

@td1234 @DS 

The A-10 was designed as an anti-tank weapon.

Where are we likely to encounter large numbers of tanks?

honested
honested

@td1234 @Brosephus 

Where is it defined that the 'legitimate duty of the Federal Government is to provide a strong military'?

You better check that place where you pull stuff out of, because the stuff is coming out defective.

td1234
td1234

@honested Iraq, SK, Iran, China, Russia 


These are all countries that currently would like to see this nation destroyed. 

td1234
td1234

@honested We all know you are a bed wetter so it makes sense that you do not want this nation to have a strong military. 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 Your statement holds true for the current do nothing congress that is occupying space in Washington which includes Kingston. Army commanders have warned Congress that more automatic cuts could force them to shrink the total force to 420,000 soldiers — a number they insist is too low to meet U.S. defense needs. The new base-by-base report essentially puts the cost in economic terms on a local level, showing policymakers and their constituents how painful the cuts could become in their home communities.~~~~~Associated press June 27, 2014

honested
honested

@td1234 @honested 

You made a claim about a 'strong military' that is nowhere in the Constitution.

I don't care how many nut getrich brain jellying sessions you sat through, that contention is just plain wrong!

TBS
TBS

@td1234 @honested 

I have no idea what honested does or doesn't do.

If you are sneaking in his house and checking his bed each day that is your issue to deal with.

FYI: being a peeping Tom (td) and breaking into houses to check beds or do anything else is illegal

Kamchak
Kamchak

We all know... 

Who was it, specifically, that granted you the authority to speak on behalf of "all"?

Just askin'.

td1234
td1234

@Kamchak Me, myself and I. If you do not like it then go blow somewhere else boy. 

Kamchak
Kamchak

...then go blow...

More projection than an IMAX theater.

Just sayin'.