For you fans of the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, here’s a fantastic look at what makes the Hawg such a unique and highly sought-after asset in theater.
A good friend of mine once told me of a mission he flew in Afghanistan, where the JTAC embedded with a SOF unit got on the radio and simply asked for one thing: help getting some sleep.
Fact: no one opposing our ground forces is a fan of the A-10. As we have noted before, merely the sound of the jet’s high-bypass turbofan engines is enough to make the enemy scatter like cockroaches. They will stop at nothing to find cover when Warthogs are on the prowl and will lay low until the fearsome jets are gone. And when I say lay low, it means finding whatever cave, crevice, or bunker they can find to stay out of sight…knowing full well exposing their position would be the last mistake they ever made.
So this one evening, Tex and his wingman did absolutely nothing but circle the JTAC and his special operations comrades, allowing them to get a few hours of much needed rest. That kind of peace, in the midst of a war zone where you’re surrounded by your foes in terrain equally as formidable and hell-bent on killing you, is something you cannot put a price on.
So to those who are contemplating and pressing forward with your plans to force this aircraft into retirement: consider all of the options available to you and their efficacy in supporting ground troops. We’re not talking about dollars and cents. We’re talking about capability and proven track record of survivability, lethality, and sortie generation rates IN ADDITION to cost effectiveness. Here’s a hint: the F-35, while a very capable aircraft, is not the answer to this particular problem.
Thanks to the Public Affairs Office at the 127 FW for sharing this video with us!