Friday, March 20, 2009

75th EFS got more than four replacements, probably eight

By Joachim Jacob

As Warthog News reported, in September 2008 twelve Moody A-10Cs deployed with the 75th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron to Bagram AB, Afghanistan, for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) as part of USAF's AEF 5/6 (Cycle 7) rotation (September - December 2008).

Originally, the 75th EFS deployed with twelve A-10Cs. All of these aircraft are verified by private shots taken during their stopover at Lajes Field, Azores, and partially also by USAF photos.

78-0674, 74th FS (marked 74 FS)
78-0679, 75th FS
78-0697, 74th FS
79-0138, 75th FS
79-0172, 74th FS
79-0179, 74th FS
79-0186, 75th FS
79-0192, 74th FS
80-0140, 74th FS
80-0149, 75th FS
80-0178, 74th FS
80-0226, 74th FS

After the A-10 groundings due to wing cracks, Moody AFB officially deployed four additional aircraft as replacements to allow relocate jets of the original aircraft package to Spangdahlem AB, Germany, for inspections and repairs.

In a commentary, published on Moody’s public website on November 21th, 2008, Col. Kenneth Todorov, 23rd Wing Commander, said:

"I want to extend my personal thanks to each of you for your participation in Exercise Flying Tiger 08-11. During the Phase I portion we deployed over 300 personnel, 300+ tons of cargo, four real-world A-10C Thunderbolt II aircrafts for Operation Enduring Freedom, and one real-world HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter to support the Space Shuttle launch. […]"


According to the Scramble Message Board, these four aircraft (probably all from the 74th Fighter Squadron) arrived for stopover at Lajes Field, Azores, on October 22nd, 2008, one day later as expected. They should have landed at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, as Trend 41 on October 29th, 2008.

Part of this flight were at least:

79-0135, 74th FS [USAF photo 7 November 2008]
80-0272, 74th FS [USAF photo 7 November 2008]

On November 22nd, 2008, on the Scramble Message Board was posted that four more A-10s routed Lajes, Sigonella and Middle East (that means Al Udeid AB, Qatar) as more replacements for the 75th EFS.

After that, three more replacements were identified:

80-0144, 74th FS [USAF photo 2 December 2008]
80-0228, 74th FS [USAF photo 24 February 2009] (aircraft identified only by numbers on ejection seat and left canopy rail)
80-0252, 75th FS [USAF photo 24 February 2009]

Meanwhile, a sixth and a seventh replacement are identified by private shots, posted on

82-0657, 74th FS [Chris Hagstrom photo 12 December 2008]
81-0944, without unit markings (ex 190th FS, 124th Wg, Idaho ANG) [Chris Hagstrom photo 14 December 2008] Scramble Aircraft Database notes: Ogden ALC sep07 nm, rep AMARG nov08

On March 11th, 2009, on the Scramble Message Board was posted that 4 A-10s are at Sigonella and will depart early next day to Lajes and then to CONUS on March 13th.

The re-deployment of four A-10s suggest that Bagram AB was simply overloaded with 20 A-10Cs, 18 F-15E Strike Eagles, probably four to six EA-6B Prowlers and some other aircraft.

I still want to verify the eighth replacement A-10C by serial number. Anybody who can/will help me?

A-10C 79-0179, callsign Hawg 63, from the 74th Fighter Squadron moves into precontact to a tanker over Afghanistan on December 21th, 2008. This aircraft deployed with the original 75th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron aircraft package. (Photo by Chris Hagstrom) Hi-res

Replacement A-10C 82-0657, callsign Hawg 61, from the 74th Fighter Squadron departs from a tanker after taking gas over Afghanistan on December 12th, 2008. (Photo by Chris Hagstrom) Hi-res

Replacement A-10C 81-0944 departs from a tanker after taking gas over eastern Afghanistan on December 14th, 2008. The aircraft, formerly assigned to the 190th Fighter Squadron, 124th Wing, Idaho ANG, still wears no new unit markings and also no shark mouth nose painting. (Photo by Chris Hagstrom) Hi-res

Special thanks to Chris Hagstrom for permission to post his pictures on my blog!

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