U.S. A-10 Thunderbolt II Jets Practice Take Off And Landing On Highway in Estonia

Warthogs of the Maryland Air National Guard practiced landing on and taking off from Jägala-Käravete Highway in Northern Estonia.

On Aug. 10, ten A-10 attack aircraft belonging to the 175th Wing of the Maryland Air National Guard performed landing and take off from an extension of Jägala-Käravete Highway, a portion of the longer road known as Piibe Highway, in Northern Estonia.

The Warthogs arrived from Ämari Air Base, where they deployed on Aug. 4 in order to support Operation Atlantic Resolve until Aug. 18

This is not the first time the USAF A-10s practiced highway operations from a public road in Estonia: in August 2016, Warthogs belonging to the 303rd Fighter Squadron, 442nd Fighter Wing, from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, performed highway operations from the very same extension during their deployment to Estonia.

One of the A-10s lands on a public road in Estonia.

The ability to perform landings from highways is unique to the A-10 that can exploit its wide tyres and high-mounted engines (therefore less prone to FOD – Foreign Object Damage).

Part of the standard training during the Cold War, highway operations training from dispersed places, has resumed in eastern Europe as a consequence of the renewed tensions with Russia.

The MD ANG Warthogs sported some impressive kill markings.
The weaponry dropped by this MD ANG A-10 during its tour of duty in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

All images credit: Ardi Hallismaa/mil.ee

About David Cenciotti 4417 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.

7 Comments

  1. Hope the Estonian people loved the landings and “totally legal” fly byes! I love it here in Estonia and happy to show support for the Estonian people! Glad to see my Hogs on display like this. Glad you caught the expenditure markings! A LOT of work went into every one of those!

      • F-yea! I told a bunch of CCTs that the other day. I said: “we keep you guys employed.” And they were really cool, showed us their gear and we appreciative.

  2. Damn hipster A-10s with their mustaches and dropping ordinance before it was cool.

  3. is landing on public roads unique..? in the US maybe. Swedish JA37 Viggen, JAS 39 Gripen can both use short two-lane country roads. The older J35A Draken needed a slightly longer runway, but still two lane country roads. First road bases were constructed in 1949

Comments are closed.