By John Andrew Prime
The Shreveport Times
July 8, 2012, 11:44 PM
A-10s from the 917th Fighter Group at Barksdale Air Force Base have left for Hawaii to be in an international exercise that will continue into early August.
Late last week, seven fighters in its 47th Fighter Squadron left to link up with three other Warthogs in Arizona, to head to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to be in RIMPAC 2012, an exercise that involves ships, planes and 25,000 personnel from 22 nations.
The trip will afford group and squadron personnel to mark a unique historic tie to Hawaii. Pilots from the 47th's ancestor unit, the 47th Pursuit Squadron, were among the few to claw their way into the air on Dec. 7, 1941, to take on Japanese attacking Pearl Harbor. Several managed to down enemy airplanes and one, 2nd Lt. John Dains, was killed by friendly fire.
"I have an indescribable sense of pride that the 47th is getting another opportunity to deploy in an exercise where our heritage began," said Col. John Breazeale, the 917th's commander. "We will fly out of all the areas the 47th originally stood up and trained and defended the island. It's a unique opportunity a lot of people don't get."
The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC is designed to help ensure the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. Held every two years, it began June 29 and will end Aug. 3.
The year's showing will feature the first demonstration of a U.S. Navy "Great Green Fleet," during which U.S. surface combatants and carrier-based aircraft will test, evaluate and demonstrate the use of biofuels for both ships and airplanes.
Note: Special thanks to Warthog News contributor Piet Luijken from the Netherlands for notification about this very important news article!
47th Fighter Squadron will participate in exercise RIMPAC 2012