Tag Archives: A-10C Thunderbolt II

Before Deploying To Latvia, Two USAF A-10s from 107th FS Flew Over Normandy For D-Day 74 Ceremonies

Before deploying to the Baltic region, two A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft flew over the beaches of Normandy, France, as part of the commemoration ceremonies for D-Day 74.

Eight A-10C attack aircraft from the 107th FS of the 124th Fighter Wing Michigan Air National Guard, from Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan, arrived on stopover at RAF Mildenhall, UK, on Friday May 31, 2018. The Warthogs of the “Red Devils” were on their way to Latvia where they are scheduled to take part in Saber Strike, an annual exercise in the nations of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania along the Baltic Sea in northern Europe.

One of the aircraft, 81-0994/MI, is a “unique” special-colored A-10C unveiled at Air National Guard Paint Facility in Sioux City, Iowa, on Aug. 3, 2017. The aircraft is painted with a special livery that commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Red Devils of the 107th Fighter Squadron, that is inspired to the P-51 (F-6A) of the 107th TRS, that flew the Mustang over Normandy during WWII.

The special colored A-10C lands in a cloudy RAF Mildenhall on May 31, 2018. Six aircraft continued to Latvia on Jun. 1, whereas two remained in the UK to take part in the D-Day 74 flyover. Image credit: Tony Lovelock

One of the eight A-10C with the 107th FS about to land in RAF Mildenhall on May 31, 2018. Image credit: Tony Lovelock

On Jun. 3, 2018, along with another 107th FS “Warthog”, the “full special color” A-10 flew over the French coastline and Omaha Beach, Normandy, as part of the commemoration ceremonies for D-Day 74 – the 74th anniversary of the D-Day invasion during World War II. The 107th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron flew multiple missions over Normandy during the lead up to D-Day and during the invasion itself. The flyover during the commemoration represents the first assigned mission for the 107th in France since World War II.

The shadows of two A-10 Thunderbolt II are seen on a French farm field during the D-Day 74 commemoration ceremony in Normandy, France, June 3, 2018. The A-10s are flown by the 107th Fighter Squadron, which participated in the D-Day invasion in 1944. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Dan Heaton)

Following the demonstration, the two aircraft continued to their destination in Latvia with the support of a KC-135 tanker.

A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft from the 107th Fighter Squadron, Michigan Air National Guard, fly over the beaches of Normandy, France, as part of the mo ceremonies for D-Day 74 — the 74th anniversary of the D-Day invasion during World War II. The 107th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron flew multiple missions over Normandy during the lead up to D-Day and during the invasion itself. The flight during the commemoration represents the first assigned mission for the 107th in France since World War II. The unit also served in France during World War I. The 107th is assigned to Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Dan Heaton)

U.S. Air Force A-10 and MC-130J combat planes at work out of an austere landing field in Bulgaria

The Hogs are becoming increasingly active in eastern Europe.

Taken on Feb. 11, 2016 the following interesting pictures show U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt IIs and a single MC-130J Commando II operating out of an austere landing site at Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

A-10C & MC-130J

The Warthogs, assigned to the 74th EFS (Expeditionary Fighter Squadron), are currently deployed to Bulgaria as part of the European Theater Security Package in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve to bolster air power capabilities while assuring the U.S. commitment to European security and stability.

During their deployment, 74th EFS pilots took the chance to train in unimproved surface landings on an austere landing strip at Plovdiv, to simulate conditions of a deployed environment.

Plovdiv A-10C

This kind of training provides commanders the ability to project combat capability to areas otherwise denied by traditional airpower methods as explained by Lt. Col. Bryan France, 74th EFS commander: “The A-10 is a fighter aircraft that specializes in close air support, this training will prepare our pilots to land in a variety of surface conditions allowing us to bring the fight even further.”

Unimproved surface landing

Alongside the Hogs also an MC-130J Commando II aircraft, assigned to the 67th SOS (Special Operations Squadron), practiced landing on the unimproved surface, bringing with it a key capability.

67th SOS MC-130J

In fact, being a tactical airlifter designed to operate in austere environments, the MC-130 can carry huge quantities of cargo while simultaneously having the ability to land in such difficult conditions.

Thanks to this unique ability the aircraft is able “to provide supplies to troops on the ground or in this case, a forward area refueling point to extend the range of our aircraft assets” Capt. Justin Nadal, a 67th SOS MC-130J Commando II aircraft commander, said.

MC-130J Commando II

Noteworthy, according to Lt. Col. France, this type of exercises are aimed to demonstrate the U.S. Air Force ability to integrate across commands with joint forces while supporting NATO allies.

74th EFS A-10C

Image credit: Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman / U.S. Air Force