Martha McSally was the first female fighter pilot and fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. She served in the military for 26 years, before she became a Congresswoman in Arizona.
When she retired in 2010, she was a full Colonel. Over the course of her career, she flew 325 combat missions and was deployed to the Middle East six times. She also was awarded a Bronze Star and six air medals.
Flying the A-10
When she spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies event, she says she told President Trump that the A-10 was a "badass airplane with a big gun on it."
The Republican Congresswoman also spoke about her time flying the A-10 in the 2000s and how she would lay down close-range air support for ground troops.
“It’s an amazing airplane to fly, but it’s really cool to shoot the gun. The folklore as A-10 pilots that we pass around is that we built the gun, and told the engineers ‘figure out how to fly this gun. The gun, 30 millimeters is just amazing. When you shoot the gun, the whole airplane shakes. The first time you shoot the gun, you think the airplane’s breaking up.”Congresswoman Martha McSally
The aircraft is well known for the "BRRRT" sound that comes from firing the A-10s 30mm gun that holds over 1,150 rounds of ammunition. The sound signals salvation and safety for infantrymen on the ground.
The gun on the A-10 is incredibly accurate. Some would say that is even more accurate than GPS or laser-guided bombs.
Those cost the US military close to a million dollars each. McSally said that when they were in Afghanistan, they primarily used the gun.
“It’s a very precise weapon and it allows for minimizing collateral damage and fratricide because the weapon’s footprint is so tight. We can roll in and precisely go after the target while it keeps Americans safe.”Martha McSally