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 4451 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.

11 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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…..

    • 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.

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

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

  3. @ 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.

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

    • 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!

  5. 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.

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