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

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

 

About David Cenciotti 3689 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.