[Photo] U.S. A-10 Warthogs during aerial refueling over Afghanistan

An interesting gallery of U.S. Air Force’s A-10s being refueled over Afghanistan.

Taken on Jul. 10, 2014, the images in this post show U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft assigned to the 303rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, refueled over Eastern Afghanistan by a KC-135 Stratotanker with the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar July 10, 2014.

Operation Enduring Freedom

The A-10’s armored fuselage, maneuverability at slow speeds and low altitude has made the Thunderbolt (known as Warthog by its pilots) one of the best (if not the best) CAS (Close Air Support) asset throughout Operation Enduring Freedom (and several more operations, including Desert Storm).

Operation Enduring Freedom

However, the U.S. Air Force has plans to retire the A-10C aircraft between 2015 and 2018, even if the deadline might be postponed until 2028.

Operation Enduring Freedom

Image credit: U.S. Air Force


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.


  1. Tell me, what country has “a real air force” ?

    Only high technological developed countries, and dose countries have nuclear weapons…

    Success against a symmetrical enemy is not possible, because of the M.A.D.-principle.

    Symmetrical enemies are “hostages” off their own nuclear arsenal and that is very good!; there has been no war in these countries after 1945.

    Forget the manned F35, and use the money for unmanned aircraft; the pilot is now the weakest link.

    CAS is only useful if you can prematurely detect, observe and wipe-out the enemy 24/7; this is not possible with a plane with pilot.

    • While I see the logic behind your first few statements (not that I agree with your assessment of which countries have capable air forces), your last post about the usefulness of CAS shows us all that you have never been anywhere near a battle.

      • You don’t have to agree!

        Give me just 1 example where my conclusion is not right!

        You didn’t… This is typical an American way of being right…

        I think you are still thinking a symmetrical war is an option…

        The war in Georgia in 2008 proved definitely otherwise!

        The US abandoned their brand-new military bases in Georgia, and Russia confiscated ALL (new) US military goods…

        The US did absolute NOTHING, and Georgia was overrun by Russia.

        You comment about CAS:

        Soldiers, especially ground troops are today not the brightest soldiers…

        If you believe that real ground combat experience is nowadays necessary for a balanced view, you are/were probably (once) an US ground soldier…

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