Thirteen A-10C Warthogs make surprise visit to Decimomannu airbase, Italy, on their way back to the U.S.

On Oct. 12, 13 A-10Cs belonging to the 188th Fighter Wing, AR ANG, and 175th FW, MD ANG, made a stopover at Decimomannu airbase, in Sardinia, Italy, on their way back from a combat tour in Afghanistan.

The Warthogs of the Air National Guard “Rainbow Team” (meaning it was a detachment made of planes and crews belonging to multiple units) supported Operation Enduring Freedom as part of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing at Bagram, in Afghanistan.

Although it’s one of the most busy airbases in Europe, Decimomannu airbase is seldom visited by transiting aircraft, especially U.S. combat planes on deployment or returning to the U.S.

The reason for this rare visit, which ended on Oct. 14, when the aircraft left to continue their return flight to the CONUS (Continental United States) could be that NAS (Naval Air Station) Sigonella, in Sicily, a more common stopover, is currently overcrowded with U.S. planes supporting (covert) ops in North Africa and drones.


Image credit: Gian Luca Onnis

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a 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 five books and contributed to many more ones.