Wednesday, February 24, 2010

First two A-10Cs from the 81st Fighter Squadron showed up at Nellis for exercise

By Joachim Jacob

As Warthog News contributor Bruce Smith from United States told me via e-mail, two A-10Cs from the 81st Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Wing (USAFE), Spangdahlem AB, Germany, showed up at Nellis AFB, Nevada, February 23, 2010: 81-0976 and 81-0980. "Maybe they are coming" he also wrote.

For a couple of days, Bruce and I we both thought the twelve Spang Hogs currently on TDY at CONUS (Continental United States) are scheduled to join exercise Red Flag 10-3. But after the following e-mail from Warthog News contributor James O'Rear (also from United States): "Will be interesting if the 81st do show at Red Flag, haven't seen them on the schedule.", I checked all current exercise info on Nellis' public website.

And really, no A-10 unit is scheduled for Red Flag 10-3 (22 Feb. - 6 March 2010).

On the other hand, A-10Cs from the 184th Fighter Squadron, 188th Fighter Wing (Arkansas ANG), Fort Smith, are still listed to participate in Green Flag - West (12-26 Feb. 2010), also at Nellis. But in fact, they already participated in Green Flag - West 10-01 for their current Operation Enduring Freedom combat deployment, shared with the 104th Fighter Squadron, 175th Wing (Maryland ANG), Martin State.


[...] The 188th deployed approximately 200 pilots, maintenance and support personnel to Green Flag West at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Oct. 9-23, 2009, for additional training. The 188th deployed 10 A-10Cs to Nellis.

The primary motive of Green Flag was to duplicate warfare conditions currently found in Iraq and Afghanistan. Aircrew engaged in battle exercises that furnished training in which they worked closely with joint terminal attack controllers (JTACs) to protect nearly 6,000 Soldiers and 400 armored and support vehicles from an opposing enemy force in a 1,000-square-mile combat environment.

While at Green Flag, the 188th dropped a diverse array of munitions and bombs, including GBU-38 JDAMs, GBU-12 LGBs, MK-82s (inert), MK-66 rockets and AGM-65 Mavericks as well as firing 30 MM rounds from the A-10's GAU-8/A seven-barrel Gatling gun.

All of that training was to prepare the 188th for what it will encounter in Afghanistan. [...]


And so, the 81st FS could fill out their original slot in current Green Flag - West (still not numbered) for an upcoming OEF combat deployment.


Please note:
Green Flag - West exercises take place 10 times a year. Aircraft and crews fly from Nellis AFB, Nevada, in support of ground combat training at Fort Irwin (Barstow), California.

Related info:
Last two 81st Fighter Squadron A-10Cs finally departed Lajes Field for CONUS
Twelve 81st Fighter Squadron A-10Cs left Spang for CONUS

BTW: Bruce and James are on place to take any pictures. Good luck, guys!

Update: According to a further e-mail from Bruce, the A-10Cs are 81-0976 and 81-0980.

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