Friday, May 28, 2010

A-10s Fly Final Flights Out Of Pa. Base

Posted: 2:29 pm EDT May 27, 2010
Updated: 8:45 pm EDT May 27, 2010

WILLOW GROVE, Pa. -- Several A-10 Warthogs made their final flights out of Willow Grove Air Base on Thursday.

The planes will move to another base as the 111th Fighter Wing of the Pennsylvania Air Guard reorganizes.

The Last Flights Of The PA Warthogs

The Willow Grove base, which is in Montgomery County north of Philadelaphia, is losing the planes as part of the nation's Base Realignment and Closure process, also known as BRAC.

The planes used to train at Willow Grove and drop bombs on targets.

Willow Grove will remain a reserve facility, but it will not fulfill as many missions as it once did.

Associated video "The Last Flights Of The PA Warthogs". New 8's Barbara Barr watches A-10 Warthogs take practice at Fort Indiantown Gap before the combat unit is moved out of the state.


Please note: I'm busy to get an embedd solution for this video, please wait.

Related news article:

111th Pennsylvania National Guard wing shutdown leaves vacancy in Pennsylvania skies

By Lauren Boyer
The Patriot-News
May 27, 2010, 4:44PM

The A-10 fighter aircraft is nicknamed the "Warthog," because it's ugly. But when it comes to 25,000-pound planes with 30mm canons, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

"It's really not that pretty of an airplane, but I think it's the most beautiful plane in the world," said Major Scot Zamolyi, of the 111th Air National Guard fighter wing at Willow Grove Air Reserve Station.

For the last time Wednesday, Zamolyi, 42, hopped in the cockpit of an A-10, which can fire 70 rounds per second, and cruised the 20-minute flight from the base near Philadelphia to Fort Indiantown Gap's 2,000-acre Bollen Range impact area.

The 111th unit, the only fighter wing in Pennsylvania, is shutting down June 6, as mandated by the Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) report issued May 2005. The 86-year-old unit includes about 1,000 guardsmen, mostly in the Philadelphia area. About 300 of them will be losing their jobs.

As the wing continues to dissolve, its remaining five A-10 fighter planes will be redistributed to out-of-state guard units and the skies above Lebanon and Dauphin counties will be a little more naked without them.

Along with tours overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan, Zamolyi and his colleagues see the sports world by sky, soaring over Philadelphia Eagles games, Philadelphia Phillies games, and Pocono Raceway when events request military flyovers.

Now, those A-10 flyovers will have to come from other states or other Pennsylvania National Guard airplanes, said Public Affairs Officer Lt. Col. Chris Cleaver.

The Pennsylvania Air National Guard still has two flying units, the 193rd Air Special Operations Wing in Middletown and the 171st Air Refueling Wing in Pittsburgh.

Associated picture:

A-10 fighter jets with the Pennsylvania Air National Guard's 111th Fighter Wing out of Willow Grove, fly training missions on the Bollen air-to-ground weapons range at Fort Indiantown Gap Thursday May 27, 2010. (Photo by Chris Knight, The Patriot News)


By the way:
Warthog News contributor Brian Walter from United States is very busy to take any shots of the A-10's final days at Selfridge.

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