by Staff Reports
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Fernando Sorto, 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant dedicated crew chief from Plano, Texas, marshals an 81st Fighter Squadron A-10 Thunderbolt II in place on the flightline Jan. 24, 2013. The 81st FS launched multiple aircraft to relocate to Moody Air Force Base to fulfill training requirements and augment the fleet for potential deployments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Gustavo Castillo) Hi-res
Note: Pictured from right are A-10Cs 81-0980, 81-0960, 82-0646 and 81-0983. All of them left Spang as a four-ship with callsigns HURON31-34, escorted by a KC-135 Stratotanker (serial number 57-1428, callsign CAFE81). After a short stopover at Lajes Field, Azores, they crossed the Atlantic for Continental United States (CONUS).
1/31/2013 - SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- Spangdahlem Air Base's 81st Fighter Squadron is scheduled to inactivate this year as a result of the overall U.S. defense budget cuts.
The 81 FS inactivation became official upon the termination of the Continuing Resolution provision that prohibited the "retirement, divestiture, realignment and transfer" of aircraft. The Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act does not prohibit these actions. Approximately 500 personnel will be affected by the inactivation.
The 81 FS flies the A-10 Thunderbolt II, or "Warthog," a twin-engine jet aircraft capable of close air support for ground forces.
"While we are disappointed that we will no longer be in Europe supporting the 52nd Fighter Wing's mission, we realize this is just another chapter in the life of a fighter squadron," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Clint Eichelberger, 81st Fighter Squadron commander. "As A-10 pilots, we will continue to lend decisive combat power around the world by supporting combatant command authorities with deployable close air support and combat search and rescue expertise."
Specific plans to relocate the squadron's A-10s are not yet finalized; however, the squadron is currently moving some aircraft to Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, and Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., to support training requirements and subsidize the capabilities of the A-10 squadrons. The remaining aircraft and personnel will withdraw from Spangdahlem AB within the year.
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – An 81st Fighter Squadron A-10 Thunderbolt II exits a hardened aircraft shelter on the flightline Jan. 24, 2013. The A-10 will not be returning to Spangdahlem AB due to the inactivation of the 81st FS. But even with the inactivation, the 52nd Fighter Wing will maintain its vital fighter mission in Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Gustavo Castillo) Hi-res
Note: Pictured is A-10C 81-0980.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jeff Hogan, 81st Fighter Squadron director of operations from Olympia, Wash., performs a pre-flight inspection on an A-10 Thunderbolt II on the flightline Jan. 24, 2013. The aircraft is headed to Moody Air Force Base as a result of the 81st Fighter Squadron inactivation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Gustavo Castillo) Hi-res
Note: Pictured is A-10C 81-0980.
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jeff Hogan, 81st Fighter Squadron director of operations from Olympia, Wash., sits in the cockpit of an A-10 Thunderbolt II on the flightline Jan. 24, 2013. Currently 11 aircraft are slotted to move from Spangdahlem AB to Moody Air Force Base to support current and future operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Gustavo Castillo) Hi-res
Note: SEEK ATTACK DESTROY
Source (including 5 photos)
Please note: This post will be further updated with some background info.