More A-10C Warthogs returning from Afghanistan. Some still wearing inactivated unit’s markings.

Between Oct. 5 and 7, 12 A-10C Warthogs landed at Lajes Field in the Azores, on their way back to the U.S. after a tour of duty of six months in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom at Bagram Airfield.

Even if the aircraft were assinged to the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron “Flying Tigers”, 23rd Fighter Group, 23rd Wing, Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, some of them still wore the markings of the 81st Fighter Squadron “Panthers”, a recently inactivated unit formerly assigned to the 52nd Fighter Wing from Spangdahlem airbase, Germany.

The 12 Boars were replaced by 12 A-10Cs that made a stopover at Lajes Field on their way to Bagram airfield at the end of September.

A-10 81FS markings 2

Image credit: André Inácio

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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.