This photo of an A-10 sporting hundreds of bomb markings proves the Warthog has been pretty active fighting Daesh!

A-10 Thunderbolts from 124th Fighter Wing have just returned from deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve: they brought back one aircraft with an impressive amount of bomb markings.

Since Nov. 17, 2014 when the U.S. Air Force moved a squadron-sized element of A-10C Thunderbolt aircraft from Bagram, Afghanistan, to Ahmed al Jaber airbase, in Kuwait, to join the fight against ISIS, the Hog (from various USAF units) has played an important role supporting Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR): it has carried out about one-third of the overall air strikes attacking the IS militants causing great losses and by deterring them from above using its GAU-8 Avenger a 30 mm hydraulically driven seven-barrel Gatling-type cannon and PGMs (Precision Guided Munitions).

Among the Thunderbolt units that have taken part to the air war against ISIS there is the 190th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, 124th Fighter Wing (Idaho ANG), from Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho.

The “Skullbangers” have returned home from a 6-month combat deployment in support of OIR on Oct. 24, 2016. The return of the Idaho ANG from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, is featured in the latest issue of The Beacon, official newsletter of the 124th Fighter Wing.

Indeed, as pointed out by the team at Warthog News, a FB page (worth a like) posting tons of interesting A-10 stuff, the November 2016 issue of The Beacon includes some really interesting photographs, including the ones of an A-10 decorated with many bomb markings.


Bomb and kill markings are very well-known tradition in military aviation.

In May 2016, we spotted JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions) bomb silhouettes on one of the F-22s belonging to the 95th FS from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, after one rotation to the UAE to support Operation Inherent Resolve

Last year, in Syria, Russian Su-34s  sported red star silhouettes to mark 10 air strikes, whilst EA-18G Growlers of VAQ-137 aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt got unique kill markings, showing Electronic Attack support as well as cellular jamming missions.


BTW, let us know if you have an idea about the type of bombs the above A-10 bomb markings represent…

H/T Warthog News. Image credit: 124th FW





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. Looks like the marks with the bulged front half would be 2000lb JDAM, there are what looks like GBU-12 paveway with the spindly fins, and AGM-65 with the somewhat phallic shaped marks.
    The smallest ones are the ones I’m scratching my head with, I would assume SDB, Griffin, APKWS, or some small pgm – it’s possible they represent a strafing run but in assuming those are limited to fleeing vehicles and etc. From the videos being put out by the coalition they are being very selective with warhead size, very small warheads are being used on vehicles and I don’t mean SDB – even smaller, they don’t destroy the truck even, mostly just the cab and occupants. From the angles and velocity they appear to be Griffin or similar. Smaller charge than hellfire and slightly smaller all up munition.
    Can the A-10 use the Griffin? I do not know. But I don’t think they are strafings, the smallest marks – I think it is whatever smallest size PGM they are now using, new or old – they don’t look like a hellfire, SDB, maverick or APKWS in the way they impact, it looks like it’s gliding. APKWS for example hits the target with substantial velocity and is less urban environment friendly. It will tear a truck to shreds though.

    • The thin ones could also be unguided rockets. I mean, a lot of “dumb iron” (gun and unguided bombs) is used by the Warthogs, so why not ?

  2. Ok judging by sheer quantity, the small markings are mk82 size pgm and the big ones mk84, the tube shaped ones are agm-65, so typical A10 munitions. Less mavericks than I expected but then again those are big, not many maverick worthy targets in Isis hands compared to the many many berms and buildings that are being flattened with mk8X iron.

  3. Fighting Daesh? Or just trowing bombs in the desert? How could it be that the terrorist could gain territory in the 4 years before Russia intervened? Despite bombing by coalition aircraft. I remember when Russia also started bombing the oil trucks. The US was quick to state they do the same. But they used Russian footage of such strikes when doing so. That was pretty laughable.

    The DU will also poison entire regions. The people in Iraq and Serbia already know what that means. Ill-born children and cancer.

    • They aren’t using DU, get with the program its HEI with some non DU AP rounds, like every 5th round. Have you watched the videos put out by the coalition? I have. Many clips out there of the carnage from the air and the ground, we have been wiping them out where possible and with as small a warhead as we can get away with.
      We took out a pickup with a technical. The truck kept rolling despite its occupants getting smashed and went into a palm tree. A video seen round the world.
      In the past a hellfire or maverick would have been used, bringing massive increases in shrapnel, the unnecessary pulverisation of the truck, damaged road, frag pattern capable of killing locals, and a mess.

      Then again you’re foolish enough to think we would be using depleted uranium bullets meant for tanks against people fleeing on motorcycles, so you must not have any understanding of combat. That’s an HEI job.

      • If they really don’t use DU, then that can only be good for the population that lives in vicinity to the areas where fighting takes place. But for the people in Iraq it’s a slow death. The dust from the DU ammo destroys their genes and it has a half-life of 4.468 billion years.

  4. A-10 allegedly flying over Idlib, Syria. Weird as Idlib is a Russian playground. Is that second silhouette an F-15?

    • Not only that. Rumor has it that there were Russian military advisers as well who were gathering intelligence. And with that, it really looks like someone wanted them gone. Guess why the Russians accused the US for supporting terrorists in the following UN security council meeting. And then, a bit later, the Russians responded with 3 Kalibr missiles. Destroying an Islamist command post in the Aleppo region, allegedly killing 30 advisers from Israel, the US, GB, FR and maybe others. That was the point when the US declared they will not have further talks with the Russians about a truce. And again, a little later, when the Washington Post published leaked information about consideration of air strikes against Syrian airfields by the coalition, the Russians brought a S-300VM to Tartus.

    • Would you say the same thing if it had been a Syrian or Russian Su-24 bombing Kurdish forces or U.S. Special forces?

      • If I knew it was an established position and I knew the killers knew who they were bombing then sure. I would say the same thing. But still US special forces are not entitled to be in Syria and neither are Kurdish forces. There is no permission of the Syrian govt or UN Sec council. What the US did was the same as Syria blowing up a US military base on US home soil.

      • No cos neither the US or Kurds have Syrian or UN Sec Council permission to be in Syria so the forces fighting LEGALLY in Syria have the right to attack or kill all illegally armed groups.

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