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188th Fighter Wing - Heart of the Region

The Flying Razorbacks are endangered by DOD Budget Cuts

The 188th Fighter Wing (FW) Flying Razorbacks, are in danger of losing the A-10 Warthogs, up to 1000 Fort Smith area jobs, and an annual economic impact to the community of approximately $150 million. The Air Force recommends a force structure change that would remove A-10s from the ramp in Fort Smith, and provide the 188th Fighter Wing with an unmanned aircraft mission. The aircraft would not be located in Fort Smith. While we do not yet have firm information on employment at the base, the new mission would be bear significant overall cuts. We are also deeply concerned that the proposed new mission does not utilize the unit's superior airspace and ranges, which are an integral part of the unique strategic attributes of Fort Smith. Additionally, the fallout would potentially cost the community millions of dollars to replace fire and rescue support and could have devastating consequences on other aspects of the Fort Smith airport. Any decision to cut the 188th FW A-10 mission has not considered the unique strategic military advantages of the 188th FW or the unique cost effectiveness of this unit. The 188th Fighter Wing is one of the largest job and economic contributors in the Western Arkansas / Eastern Oklahoma region.

Other than regional economic concerns, read why you should care about saving the Flying Razorbacks!

Why Should YOU Care?

Fort Smith Has the Best Infrastructure
  • Fort Smith Has the best airspace in the Air National Guard. World-class airspace promotes the finest combat training at the lowest cost to the taxpayer.
    • The Closest Airspace
      • Bombing Range 15 miles from end of runway
      • Military Operating Area 7 miles from end of runway
    • More authorized low level training routes than anywhere else in the country
    • Training areas sparsely populated+unmatched community support=no environmental or encroachment limitations
    • All airspace is owned by the Arkansas National Guard=flexibility to tailor training for maximum efficiency
    • Airspace perfectly supports both the A-10 and follow-on 5th generation fighters.
  • The 188th Fighter Wing's facilities are among the most modern in the Air National Guard.
    • Modern facilities and expansive aircraft parking
    • Current infrastructure provides ability for immediate expansion or active duty partnerships with little or no modification costs
    • Ready now for the 5th generation fighter with minimal taxpayer expense.
Fort Smith is the Best Location for Joint Training
  • Best base in the Air Force for Special Forces integration. Pilots and Special Forces operators routinely plan, brief, execute, and debrief robust combat scenarios.
      • Frequent training with all services: Air Force Special Tactics Squadrons, Army Green Berets, and Navy SEALS.
    • Fort Chaffee and other Military Operating Areas provide ideal training locations for realistic scenarios and ancillary combat training
    • Proximity allows face-to-face planning, briefing, and debriefing
    • Locally assigned Navy SEAL unit
  • Best base in the Air Force for attack controller training: Pilots and attack controllers accomplish the highest quality training in the nation at Fort Smith
    • Attack Controllers job is to facilitate close air support (CAS) engagements-The A-10’s mission is CAS=perfect training relationship
    • The only place in the world where Joint Tactical Air Controllers (JTACS) can face-to-face brief and debrief their missions multiple times daily=Huge training multiplier
Lowest Cost Fighter Unit in the Country
  • Lowest training costs: 188th pilots train more while flying shorter missions
    • Flight training costs approximately half the average at Fort Smith (* Cost for one hour of training at the unit’s primary bombing range including flying time to and from the range at A-10 speeds and baseline flying hour cost).
  • Lowest operating costs: Taxpayer money goes further in Fort Smith
    • Lowest energy costs per square foot in the Air National Guard.
      • Efficiencies: First ANG facilities awarded special energy certificates for efficiency.
      • Renewable Energy: 188th is a leader in renewable energy.
    • Lowest housing cost in the ANG.
    • Low medical costs

The 188th Fighter Wing will once again deploy to Afghanistan in the summer of 2012 in defense of this country without knowing whether they will have a job upon their return. We encourage you to write the Secretary of Defense and express in your own words why you believe the decision should be based on doing what is right for this country. Doing what is right clearly and objectively includes assuring FIGHTERS REMAIN ON THE RAMP IN FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS.

What Can I Do?

The most important... Write the US Secretary of Defense a letter here. When you’re done, submit a message of support for the Flying Razorbacks here.

Write the Secretary of Defense now!