Monday, August 3, 2009

A-10 Warthogs reunited with 82nd Airborne in Bagram

By Henry Cuningham
The Fayetteville Observer
Published: 12:00 AM, Thu Jul 30, 2009

In December 2007, the last A-10 attack jets departed Pope Air Force Base for their new home at Moody Air Force Base, Ga.

The 2005 Base Closure and Realignment law directed the move to Moody. It was one of the first things accomplished on the list of changes that had to happen at Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base by September 2011

At the time, there was a sense that the "Warthogs" also were saying goodbye to their Army compadres at Fort Bragg and in the 82nd Airborne Division.

The good-byes didn't last long.

About 8,000 miles from North Carolina, the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron from Moody is working daily with Combined Joint Task Force 82, which is based at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan. That's only the latest of repeated deployments.

The A-10 attack jets of the 23rd Fighter Group have distinctive red, white and black shark's teeth painted on their nose, which also sports a deadly machine gun.

There's a picture of an A-10 on a runway in Bagram with Chinook helicopters, probably from the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, in the sky.

The heavily armored attack jet is designed to fly low and slow and support Army troops who might be fighting a nearby enemy on the ground. The homely airplanes have many fans among soldiers and Marines.

There has not been a day during the squadron's deployment that it did not have at least two aircraft supporting soldiers on the ground, according to a statement from the task force's press center.

The more things change ...


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