American Elephants

Rescued From Retirement, The A-10 Warthog Goes Back to War. by The Elephant's Child

Feb. 23 airpower summary: A-10s provide air coverThe A-10 Thunderbolt II is better known as the Warthog because it’s ugly. It was designed for the Cold War and is old and slow. Not sophisticated. It is heavily armored and well armed, and is a ruthlessly effective weapon for attacking the targets that threaten our ground forces — what’s called close air support. The troops love it. It is designed to take a lot of punishment and dole out a lot of punishment to those who threaten our guys on the ground.

It’s  a Pentagon/active−military battle. The Pentagon wants to get rid of it. The F-35 is a newer, prettier, sexier, 5th Generation fighter and very, very expensive. Glamorous, but it isn’t built for the same kind of close air support.

What do I know? Only what I read. But I have read enough to, when we saw the long caravan of ISIS Toyotas heading for Baghdad, wonder where the Warthogs were.

They were retired. But John McCain and a few others like Kelly Ayotte (her husband flew A-10s in Iraq)  have been fighting to retain the old dependable bird. Bureaucracies require Congressional attention. Desk People vs. battlefield people.  Looks like this time the troops won.

Now an undisclosed number of Warthogs belonging to the 163rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron based at Fort Wayne, Indiana have been deployed to Middle Eastern airbases to provide air cover for troops fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Sounds like good news to me.

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