How many A-10 combat planes can you count in this photo? All of them are deploying to the Middle East…

Sep 28 2012 - 17 Comments

Although the caption of the following picture reads “more than a dozen A-10 Thunderbolt….” I can count 19 such combat planes belonging to the 354 FS, 355th Fighter Wing from Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona at Westover Air Reserve Base.

Westover airfield, in Massachusetts, has long runways, ample ramp space (to accomodate C-5 Galaxy cargo planes) that make it an ideal stop for combat units on their way overseas.

The aircraft passed through Westover on their way to the Middle East. Once again, although their final destination is (currently) unknown, they are believed to be part of the U.S. military build up in the area near Syria, Iran, Libya and Northern Mali.

The A-10 is the ideal type of aircraft to perform close air support (CAS) by attacking tanks and armored vehicles. The deployment of this kind of aircraft, along with the unusual presence of AC-130U gunships, special operations helicopters, drones and tankers could be the sign that something big is going to take place in the coming weeks…

Update: according to the latest rumors the “Hogs” are on their way to Afghanistan, where they would replace the current mix of ANG A-10s of the 104th and 184th FS deployed there since March.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force


  • Gary

    If I had my choice of any combat aircraft to fly, this would be the one. Down and dirty, agile, durable. I was at Eglin when the gun program was developed. Was in Germany when they first deployed there in the ’70’s. Awesome hot rod! We really didn’t expect a very high survival rate for them if we ever seriously mixed it up with the Soviets. Still an awesome weapons platform.

  • Neil O’Higgins

    One of the aviation geek commentator’s sanitises this aircraft as “Still an awesome weapons platform.”…….without mincing my words, this aircraft and its like are in the air to kill fathers and mothers, men and women, and I suspect some children aswell…… it is not a tickling contest….it is not a ‘weapons platform’, it is a killing machine piloted by killers…..

    • Bill G.

      As it should be. It’s nothing that you want to use, but sometimes the only way to get through to the thugs of the world is through extreme penalties.

      • Neil O’Higgins

        i agree – infortunately, it is true

    • Mark Trebing

      That is what makes it so awesome!!!! Those are some beautiful aircraft. Sorry to see the age of “door art” has come and gone.

      • mats

        calling it beautiful… hmmm… I don’t know but fascinating indeed. Look the shadow it casts on the ground! Nice picture.

  • Viper Weapons

    @ Neil O’ Higgins, I belive Gary was using a technical description of the A-10. I assure you when Fairchild designed this airplane to meet an Air Force requirement 40 years ago the language did not contain “the ability to kill women, children and fathers” it was designed to destroy armor, specifically the hordes of Warsaw Pact tanks that would pour the Fulda Gap had WW III broken out. Unfortunately tanks are operated by people, and people die in combat Mr. O’ Higgins

    My spoon I eat my oatmeal with based on your narrative is a killing machine too and I could kill fahers, mothers and children with it or are you an internet troll? The Boeing 757/767 were not designed to kill, but to transport mothers, fathers and children across the world, but 11 years ago were used by sons of fathers/mothers to murder other fathers, mothers and children in New York City.

    Liten up, this blog is about military aviation.

    • Neil O’Higgins

      good point well put – thank you for free speech – !!

  • Veng

    welp, if killing in wartime bothers you, you should probably stop reading blogs and websites about MILITARY things.

    • Neil O’Higgins

      thanks Mr Veng – its people like my people and my wife’s people that has allowed us all to disagree with each other – free speech, fought for and maintained with weapons of war – a paradox of poetic proportions!

  • pete

    The reason for 19 is they are potential spares that will fly usualyl to the east coast to ensure that they get the required number across the pond. Those that are not primes will return back to Westover and then back to DM.

  • Stefan

    Dear Neil O’Higgins,

    Stop being silly.

    Of course it could kill fathers, mothers, men women and children. It could also kill cows, anteaters and ducks. It also deploys and enacts foreign policy, when nation-states are threatened, by whomsoever decides to threaten your utopian ideal. Your asanine argument is as logical as banning alcohol, tobacco, and food with fat or sugar in it, all of which kills a lot more people then this weapon system.

    It is a weapons platform, it does kill people, no-one says it’s pretty, but people in the real world accept its regrettable existance. Go and form a cogent argument, then come back.

    And learn to punctuate.

    • Neil O’Higgins

      not worth replying to

      • Neil O’Higgins

        a poor argument and sarcastic – !!! – still, made me smile, I must have touched a nerve –

        • Stefan

          Not worth replying to, or unable to reply? By the continued absence of a cogent argument, the null hypothesis is proven, and you still can’t punctuate, or indeed, it would appear, reason.

          Stick to nursing; a fine an honourable profession.. Be thankful there are people with conviction and courage in abundance who will make all those ‘awkward’ decisions on your behalf, protecting your free-speech so you can carry on whining.

  • Great for use against Third World armies (i.e. NVA as originally designed, or Iran as now intended) but pretty useless against any modern army equipped with the most basic man-portable SAM. But great if they stand still & don’t react I suppose.

  • Neil O’Higgins

    thank you all for your comments – I suppose if we were all the same, if we all believed that no-one should hold different opinions to our own, if everyone became angry and sarcastic, there would be no democracy……and no debate. Some of you put very succinct arguments without getting petty and without bully-boy language. Whereas one, only one, displayed civilian stupidity – did I punctuate properly?