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

Aug 10 2017 - 7 Comments

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

  • Ethan Mclean

    Apparently, one of them hit a roadside barrier when landing and sustained damage.

  • WpnsLoader175

    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!

    • El Kabong

      Without Armourers, all you have is a flying club!

      • WpnsLoader175

        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.

  • McPosterdoor

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

  • Magnus Lokrantz

    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

    • El Kabong

      NATO, including the USAF practiced it since the 70’s.

      So do a lot of SEA air forces.