Saturday, May 7, 2011

81st Fighter Squadron A-10Cs return home from Aviano after combat action over Libya

Updated May 8, 2011

As reported on the well-recommended Dutch Scramble Messageboard, the following four A-10Cs from the 81st Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem AB, Germany, were logged by arrival at "Spang" May 5, 2011, all of them with an external fuel tank: 81-0980, 81-0965, 82-0646, 82-0656.

That means, it could be that they were on their way back home to "Spang" after a combat deployment to Aviano AB, Italy, in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn.

First pictures, taken by two different photographers, were posted at the Dutch Scramble Messageboard. Please check: Spangdahlem ETAD 5-5-2011

Among the aircraft spotters who had the opportunity to caught the arriving four "Hogs" was Niels Roman from the Netherlands. After asking him via PM on the Dutch Scramble Messageboard, today, on May 8, I got his kind permission to post his excellent and very rare shots on my blog:

A-10C 81-0965 (Photo by Niels Roman)

A-10C 81-0965 again. (Photo by Niels Roman)

A-10C 81-0980 (Photo by Niels Roman)

A-10C 82-0646 (Photo by Niels Roman)

A-10C 82-0656. Note the absence of the black lightning on the yellow fin cap. (Photo by Niels Roman)

Special thanks to Niels for supporting Warthog News!

As already mentioned on the Dutch Scramble Messagebord, six of the squadron's aircraft arrived at Aviano AB, Italy, on Friday, March 25, 2011 (Callsign Attack 01-06). In order of landing were logged: 81-0980, 81-0976, 81-0966, 81-0965, 82-0650 and 82-0649.

Aircraft in order of serial numbers:
A-10C 81-0965
A-10C 81-0966
A-10C 81-0976
A-10C 81-0980
A-10C 82-0649
A-10C 82-0650

And now, it seems that they were joined later by A-10Cs 82-0646 and 82-0656.

Unfortunately, I still don't have any photo proofs from Aviano.

I would be very grateful for any additional pictures to document this combat deployment.

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