Michael's Dispatches



All photos in this dispatch made on March 1, 2010, at Kandahar Airfield.

Kandahar, Afghanistan
23 March 2010

The mission required crossing a bridge that had been blown up a couple hours earlier by a suicide car bomber.  The attacker hit a convoy from the 82nd Airborne, killing American soldier Ian Gelig.  Now with a hole in the bridge and recovery operations underway, our mission was cancelled.  So I called the Air Force to see if they were busy.  Yes, it turns out, the Air Force is busy every day, but Captain Kristen Duncan took me down to the ramp where the A-10 “Warthogs” are parked.

Lt Col Tim Eddins adjusts g-suit.

Two pilots were gearing up to fly from Kandahar over to neighboring Helmand to support a British unit.  The A-10 “Warthogs” are slow—not supersonic—but fantastically agile.  The aircraft dart like dragonflies and seem to change direction against the laws of physics.  The A-10s can turn so fast that they can break the laws of healthy physiology, and can cause a pilot to pass out and crash his airplane.  And so pilots wear G-suits to help counter adverse fluid dynamics.

The helmets offer no ballistic protection.  Helmets that ground troops wear can stop bullets, and have done so in Iraq and Afghanistan on many occasions, usually knocking out the wearer.  I remember a Marine Major in Mosul who got shot in the head.  He said it knocked him out cold.  He said it wasn’t pleasant getting shot in the head, but he was downtown in Mosul back in the action when I asked about it.  Army Lieutenant Colonel Terry Jamison also got shot in the helmet in the same city, Mosul.  When I asked LTC Jamison about getting shot while flying his Kiowa Warrior helicopter, he said the bullet somehow missed his head but ventilated his helmet.  (I saw the helmet.)  Pilots wear light helmets because of the hard turns, plus some high-G accidents can cause neck injuries.

Lieutenant Colonel Eric Murphy is an A-10 pilot from Baltimore.

Lt Col Murphy flies with the 104th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron from the Maryland National Guard.  In his day job, “Captain” Eric Murphy is a commercial pilot who flies A320s but today he’s not flying British tourists traveling within the United States.  He’s going to Helmand Province to cover the British “Royal Welsh.”  I remembered some Royal Welsh from Iraq.  There had been much fighting.  A lot of killing that went both ways.  They had been Men of Valor.

As Lt Col Murphy crawled in, I wished him luck in covering the British, but didn’t say that some of those British soldiers are my personal friends.  It was good to see the A-10s heading out there.  The Brits appreciate it.

Flare dispensers under each wing.

A-10s have more tricks than Harry Potter, such as the flares designed to lure heat-seeking missiles away from the engines.  Over these battlefields, pilots often pop the flares as “We see you” warnings to the enemy.  If the enemy is in the open and no civilians are around, they are unlikely to get a friendly flare warning, but sometimes it’s better to hold off on the big weapons; the enemy might be fighting from a built-up area.

Today, Lt Col Murphy’s 30mm cannon is loaded with 1,150 rounds.  The 30mm can destroy tanks, but believe it or not, typically will not penetrate the walls around Afghan homes.  When the 30mm fires, it’s almost unbelievable.  The bullets don’t fly in a laser-like stream, but sort of spray in a lethal mist, as if the cannon is shot-painting a swath with huge bullets.  If the enemy is in the open, the cannon is like a weapon of mass destruction.  When people are hit with M-16 bullets, the wound is often more like a couple small holes, but when bodies get hit with weapons this large, they fly in pieces.

A-10 cannons are tilted down so that the pilot can fly level while strafing.  This is important: In Mosul, in 2004, an F-14 was strafing downtown after a massive truck bomb in December and many other bad surprises (I was not there), and the pilot told me he was fixated on the target.  Since the F-14 cannon is tilted up for “Top Gun” air combat, the pilot had to nose down the F-14 and was diving straight into the target and nearly crashed.  The hard turn to avoid crashing damaged his aircraft and the pilot had difficulty landing on the aircraft carrier later that night.  Since the A-10 gun is tilted down, it can fly level and strafe without accidentally crashing into the target.

Lt Cols Tim Eddins and Eric Murphy climb up the telescoping ladder into their jets and go through one of many checklists.  Watching Air Force missions and all the checklists is reminiscent of watching space launches.  Checklist after checklist of obscure terms.  Occasionally they say things normal people might recognize, like “brakes.”

Say something here...
You are a guest ( Sign Up ? )
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Johncs · 11 years ago
    My USMC helo squadron worked with A-10's practicing SAR, Escort, and CASEVAC in 2002. Terrific aircraft and squadrons that fly it. Grunts of the sky. Wish the USMC had them.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    macho79 · 11 years ago
    I flew the Hog in the late 80's and early 90's in Europe and spent a lttle time over the gulf during Desert Storm. Just a little clarification - the A-10's were not part of the original deployment package to support Desert Storm. When the AF Commander met up with Stormin Norman, it was Schwartzkof who demanded A-10s be part of the package. The original AF plan was to have all A-10's out of the active inventory by 1995, until Desert Storm saved them. They had A-10's doing things you wouldn't believe - they were truly the war horses of the battlefield. The upgrades came after I left the AF, its good to see the venerable ol' Hawg get its recognition. It was a great plane and a great mission.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    jsanmac · 11 years ago
    Thanks for a super article highlighting the business end of the A-10. I was a member of the Test & Evaluation Office in the A-10 SPO during its development during 197 -76. My job was to plan and manage the stores certification developement and testing. That means makiing sure the armament system was designed and produced properly and that all the various bombs, missiles, rockets, external gun pods, or anything else that hangs from an A-10 pylon could be safely carried and dropped without damaging the aircraft. I did just about everything in the testing phase except fly the aircraft. And what a magnificent fighting machine is that aircraft. I was on the radio during one test where we dropped a full load of 500 lb bombs in a 45 degree dive at 450 knots. Our test aircraft had recently been fitted with leading edge slats on the inboard section of the wings, in order to correct the flow of air into the engines at high angles of attack. The contractor pilot radioed, "Bombs away", then calmly stated, "The left slat has departed the aircraft and impacted the left engine. I am shutting down the engine and request permission for priority landing." He was very calm, while those of us listening in the radio room said, "WHAT???" He landed the aircraft without further incident. We tested the Maverick missile using live missiles and fired them at tanks over at the Navy Test Range at China Lake. Blew the heck out of those tanks, but burned the paint off the bottom of the vertical stabiler (tail) of the A-10, so they put an ablative coating on that part of the tail. Later, we loaded the plane with live bombs on multiple ejector racks for a tactical test at a nearby range in Nevada. One of those live bombs hung in the ejector rack on one of its two lugs and the pilot had to make an emergency landing at the range. We did a lot of ground testing to find the cause, which turned out to be a bad lot of ejector cartridges. I am very proud of that aircraft and its capabilities. It looks very beautiful to me.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    MAJ Mike Bonine - SO · 11 years ago
    On my last patrol in the Sunni Triangle of Death (an aptly named region just south of Baghdad) in March of 2007, we were taking some serious 82mm mortar fire from local insurgents. An A-10 was on station, providing Close Air Support (CAS) to our battalion. As we hunkered down, that A-10 rolled in and with one short burst from that GAU-8 0mm cannon, the insurgent mortar team was obliterated. There is an A-10 driver out there to whom I still owe a cold beer for that one. Thanks Warthogs!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jack E. Hammond · 11 years ago

    If you look at one of the head on photos of the A-10 you will notice that the nose landing gear is on the side and the cannon is mounted directly in the center. The reason is the 0mm cannon is so powerful when fired that actually slows the aircraft down in forward speed. If the cannon was mounted to the side the firing would cause the aircraft to move to the side!

    The first unit A-10 unit to be dispatched to Saudi Arabia was based in South Carolina. That unit was suppose to start retiring their A-10s and replacing them with F-16s. One disadvantage of the early A-10s was they had no auto pilot. And when you are flying an aircraft across the Atlantic and refueling in mid air that is going slower than a WW2 P-51 Mustang, not having an auto pilot is a pain. The USAF did try one unit in Desert Storm with F-16s mounting a podded three barrel 0mm cannon on its center pylon -- ie you can't do it with the pods mounted on the wing pylon the wing pylons, because if when you fire, one pod does not fire or does not fire in sync with the other pod, it will cause the aircraft to go out of control.

    Jack E. Hammond

  • This commment is unpublished.
    Udo · 11 years ago
    If anyone wants to find out what it's like to be close to the business end of an A-10, just head over to Avon Park in Florida, and go hiking on the Florida Trail through there. I did that some years ago. The trail goes right through the range (unless something has now changed). When I hiked in nothing happened, but I got a rude awakening the next morning when I heard sharp explosions (100 yards away approx), a sound like a car driving over a steel grill bridge, then the whining sound of shrapnel going through the trees overhead. I spent the next two hours keeping my head low while I hiked out. The A-10's kept strafing the areas beside the trail. An interesting experience. They were easily a mile or more away when they opened fire, so 100 yards of deflection wouldn't take much. I hoped the pilot didn't sneeze while firing.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Wayne Brownell · 11 years ago
    I was a proud ground pounder who had the honor to participate in five National Training Center rotations, Fort Irwin CA, in the late 80s and early 90s. Watching them beautiful beasts go in while your unit is in the valley of death, or from Brigade Hill, or hear the dragon's roar at the live fire ranges, at north Ft Irwin, was memory stirrer. Now seeing your photos brings back the heart pounding excitement I had watching the A10 fly. As a side note, prior to my getting out in 92, the USAF had changed their close air support understanding with the Army. Following the blue on blue incidents in DS/DS USAF would go out to 0 kms from forward line of troops (FLOT) and commence their close air support missions. Glad to see that has changed.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jonathan Devens · 11 years ago
    Great pics and words.
    Lived for a while up in Vermont where, I believe, they made (make?) the cannon (GE?)
    I used to drive to school through the Jericho/Underhill area where they had a test firing range for the cannons.
    Always knew when they were firing! BRAAAAAAAAPPPPPP! (sorry, close as I can get!_
    I also remember the VTANG used to fly Phantoms (back in the 80's) and I would love to watch them fly around the area- Awesome! They would do mock dogfights over I-89 and I'd pull to the shoulder and watch.
    Used to deliver pizzas to the base and they'd let me peek into the planes- I remember peeking into the cockpits of the F-16's after they transitioned to them from the F-4. Used to drive right up onto the flightline and park my car 20 ft from the F-16's...... something tells me that's no longer the case!
    God bless these brave men; Pilots, ground crews.... everybody over there; And those with the guts to stand with us.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    heyboom · 11 years ago
    Thanks to those in the know who are defending the Warthog from some of the negative comments. Nice to hear from you folks. I had the good fortune to serve as a boom operator in the KC-1 5 and the KC-10 back in the 80's. Had a chance to refuel the A-10 on many occasions. Two incidents come to mind; one mission over Germany, had a newbie doing refueling training, and he overshot the contact. I raised the boom to get it out of the way but when he looked up he got into a PIO. The side of his nose hit the end of the boom and put a big gash in it just to the left of the cannon. The flight lead looked at it and decided to head home, so I always take credit for one kill in my career! The second was when we departed the Azores with four A-10's to drag back to New Hampshire. We were scheduled to refuel them right after level off, but we were both still too heavy...we couldn't fly slow enough, even with gear and flaps down and they couldn't fly fast enough (they each had six wing tanks, if I recall correctly). The refueling speed for the A-10 was 200 KIAS, the same as a C-1 0. By contrast, the F-15 refueling speed was 15 KIAS. I consider those who flew it to be very lucky, indeed.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    J Lindsay · 11 years ago
    " I have heard many times that Warthog pilots are at a career disadvantage to fighter pilots, and it is obvious to me that the Air Force would prefer to concentrate on pretty fighter jets, rather than ugly (but extremely useful) close-air support planes.
    Lee Keller King , March 2 , 2010 "

    Lee: That would be wrong. This A-10 is what the jocks love. It is greasy nasty, dirty and like the F-4 Phantom, a double-ugly. But they LOVE it trust me. Especially when it evokes the love you see from the ground pounders.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kenny Komodo · 11 years ago
    Thanks Michael for another terrific story and pictures.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Alexander D. Mitchel · 11 years ago
    My thanks for your coverage. As it turns out, we know Lt. Col. Murphy:

    http://beerinbaltimore.blogspot.com/2010/0 /baltimore-beer-drinker-abroad.html
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Greg · 11 years ago
    I live in Tucson AZ ...we are honored to have the 55th TFW and thier A-10's based here. I have been raised watching the warthogs fly over our city all the time .... it is such a war plane and a symbol of great American engineering , graceful yet deadly. People say the aircraft is ugly .... I have ever seen a more beautiful aircraft ever! ( F-15 is close second)

    Warthogs forever !
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Orion · 11 years ago
    I love this plane - I'm an Army Chinook maintainer, but hey! There was a story I heard that supposedly took place during Desert Storm. An interrogator asked an Iraqi prisoner how they knew that A-10's were operating in their area. He replied, "Stuff starts exploding."

    Seems about right.

  • This commment is unpublished.
    Sean D. · 11 years ago
    The GAU cannon will NOT stall the A-10. This is a persistant myth that goes along with the aircraft's mystic.


    The article explains in more detail. Semper Fi.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Will Cushman · 11 years ago
    Another great Dispatch.

    The Air Force has made lots of noise about getting rid of the A-10s- not glamorous enough for the fighter jocks who call the shots, I guess. Why not transfer the units to the Army? That way the fighter jocks could have their hi tech, high cost Space Cadet rides and the ground troops could have an additional tightly integrated ground support resource.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jack The Fac · 11 years ago
    The greatest aircraft I ever flew was (and is) the A-10. "Hogdrivers" were also a great community of aviators - not so much dash; an overload of determination, skill and guts. My hat is off to those still flying the mighty Hog-C version against America's enemies. The best picture on the wall in my bar is an A-10 taxiing out for a mission with the following quote from the Bible below:

    "And when the Angel opened the next seal, there appeared a Pale Rider on a Grey Steed. Death was his name and Hell followed after him."

    Check six and throw a nickel on the grass for me! Great article and coverage, Michael.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Marvin D. · 11 years ago
    As a former Army Air Defender (Duck Hunter), I am glad they are are on our side. I remember participating in exercises in Fort Polk, LA back in the 80s. The A-10s would clean our clocks. They would fly just above tree level and you couldn't hear them until they passed you. Then they would turn and be right on top of you before you could blink.

    Great story and fond memories.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    brian pratt · 11 years ago
    Do not fail to cature the human aspect of these photos. The looks of perserverance and determination make me proud. God bless America!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Hoger · 11 years ago
    Back in the late 70's and early 80's the A-10's used to make bomb runs over the area we deer hunted in central WI. The pilots were so low that we could see them wave at us. It's great to see that this awsome machine is still doing the job for our team and the Brit's. God's speed to our men and women in the armed services...my son is a U.S. Marine.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    troychief162 · 11 years ago
    When I was in Jbad from 04-05 we would occasionally see A-10's fly over or around, taking care of business. Always brought a smile to my face and gave me a good feeling to know they were around. God Bless the pilots that fly them.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Wes · 11 years ago
    Full team, 1/2 a team, I don't care. If I could have a 'hog' available in the sky during the day and a Spectre to tuck me in at night, that is livin' large. And woe be to the interlopers.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    deadgeneral24 · 11 years ago
    The A-10 is a fantastic bit of hardware. I was lucky enough to have one in support of my unit while pushing North along HWY 1 into Baghdad back in '0 . The pilot took out a T55 and T62 tank along with BMPs and a number of dismounted infantry in one quick pass with it's cannon. Absolutely awesome to witness and more importantly spared us a great deal of risk. The 0mm literally turns a human being into a vapor. Semper Fi Warthog
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mark Holdgrafer · 11 years ago
    I was a Huey crewchief for 1/4 Cavalry at Ft. Riley KS in the mid 80's and we would get the occasional Warthog support on our training missions. It is quite an impressive sight to have a Warthog fly directly over the top of your Huey right after you set down to pick up a recon team. Their moves really did seem to defy physics.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John F Welch · 11 years ago
    Michael Yon the Warthog was developed as a counter to Russian tanks in Europe little did we know it would finally be accorded it's just reward. Its outstanding range, pilot protection and fan engines make it a great ground attack weapon. My 100 Missions over North Vietnam in an F 4 leaves me to believe that it could have served well there also.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    mike1234 · 11 years ago
    thank god for you yanks.2 days ago the british goverment were forced to say how much money from the uk coffers are spent on the uk armed forces. it works out at 0.27 cents out of every dollar raised in taxes.yes 0.27 cents .or billion pounds per year.but our benifit bill for unmarried mothers illigal immigrants so called aysslum seekers was 187 billion pounds.so thank god for america
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Di · 11 years ago
    My grandfather worked on the gunning systems of these planes and worked on writing the technical/maintenance manuals for them while in Tucson. i heard from my family that when the first gulf war happened, he received some phone calls on how to fix some issues they were having. I'm just so proud that not only was he a hero in the army in WWII but his work as a civilian Air Force employee is helping to protect soldiers even now, after his death.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jimbo · 11 years ago
    Back in the late 80's, when I was a cadet, I would drill with NYS National Guard units up at Ft. Drum - for fun - on weekends. I recall practicing driving around an M11 in a huge open area and seeing these warthogs coming in. First time I saw one, I couldn't help but notice it was coming straight at me from long off. Just for the heck of it (and b/c I was practicing my driving) I made a sharp left turn. The warthog immediately turned to his right and stayed on me. I figured it was a coincidence, but decided to make a sharp right turn back. Again, right away, this guy kept his nose on me. Some sort of primal feeling made all my hair stand on end. So I started going back and forth as hard as I could like a maniac and this plane just stayed on me like glue and coming in fast. It passed over me - dead on me - at about 250 feet and about a second later I heard BBBRRRRWWWAAAPP! Holy Shit! That guy was trackin me with LIVE AMMO, and I was next to a live fire range! (Guys in my track were all screamin WTF?! ha ha.) They kept doing that. "Boys from Syracuse" I think they were. Good training. Very glad they were on my side.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Fellow MDANG Member · 11 years ago
    Thanks Maryland ANG. You guys ROCK!!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Carl Youngblood · 11 years ago
    Needs to check facts . The bullets don't fly in a laser-like stream, but sort of spray in a lethal mist,A-10 cannons are tilted down so that the pilot can fly level while strafing. both FALSE
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jim R. · 11 years ago
    Minor correction: The IR flares launched from the SUU-25s are LUU-19s (not BLU-19).
    Great article, but wish you'd put in a full shot of the Warthog nose art!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    tez · 11 years ago
    so why are you losing?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    lcdrugo · 11 years ago
    With all the Warthog love notes being traded in these comments I feel the need to give respect to the Reaper photo. Robots need love too!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Shortimer52 · 11 years ago
    Before the Iraq war kicked off I was at a base where F-16, F-18, Harrier, and these guys took off. I always knew the sound when they took off you could hear that engine. While we were fighting our way to Baghdad in March 200 I saw one of these bad boys go toe to toe with some Iraq military. I’ll never forget it and it freaked me out how loud that gun was, sounded like the devil screaming. Still makes the hair on my arms stand up. Being that I was an anti tank guy on the ground I always thought of the A-10 as my brothers in the sky.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mark · 11 years ago
    When I was in the IL Army NG in the 80's we often trained at Ft. McCoy, WI. I was awestruck each time I watched these magnificent aircraft making their runs over the bombing range. We could see the brownish smoke pouring out of their 0mm cannons more than a few seconds before we could hear the guttural growl of the firing. Often the A-10's would turn completely on their sides, seemingly barely above the ground, and make absolutely shocking turns to the left or right. At night we'd see the flares and hear the trademark staccato burping sound, often followed by a flash and a rumble as they released something nasty on some unseen and mangled piece of obsolete military hardware. As an infantryman, I thanked God these machines and these pilots were on our side and must admit I drew great comfort in knowing so. Great topic and great job or reporting, Michael! Thanks!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    deogi · 11 years ago
    Since the 0mm will not penetrate Afgan walls does that mean it won't penetrate s**t. Sorry could not pass up on that.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    SPortz · 11 years ago
    At Ft Riley KS during tank maneuvers, you would see the A-10's fly over from Topeka to go play. During GLFW 1, I lived with a friend in a "berm" home meaning it was buried to the roof on one side. Only took a couple times of them circling the house to figure out that from the air, it probably looked like a bunker and the A-10's were lighting us up. Roommate and I discussed painting a bed sheet with red cross-hairs and attaching it to the roof, but decided against it....
  • This commment is unpublished.
    msavwah · 11 years ago
    Have been fascinated with A-10's since the first time I saw and heard one strafe a range in training. The 0mm just sounds absolutely sick!
    I had never seen a picture or a video of one so I was completely blown away with this thing when first introduced to it in action.
    First impression was something like "WTF WAS THAT?! I Love it!!
    Could never imagine the pucker factor being on the business end of one of these things.

    Coming from the airborne infantry, the only other USAF fixed-wing airframe that compares is Spooky and that is because they are both family in a very special way and in a class of their own.

    My favorite picture here is the flare dispensers, have never seen that before. Very cool
    Thx Michael.

    Oh and im down with the robot love too!
    Those things are mind boggling.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Larry Stack · 11 years ago
    Bravo Zulu Mike! Fantastic work!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dom · 11 years ago
    Great story, as ever, Michael. Thanks!

    Been a long time fan of the Hog since being a teenager in England in the 80s. I lived about 20 miles up the coast from an RAF bombing range, and over the years I saw just about every ground attack/strike aircraft in NATO service fly past to use the range. I loved hearing the whistle of the turbofans throttling back whenever a pair of A10s flew by (often only a few dozen feet above the level of the 70 foot high cliff-top near my house!), but the weirdest sound was a grating noise that sounded like heavy furniture being dragged across a wooden floor. Had me baffled for weeks, until I realised it was the sound of A10 cannon fire from 20 miles distant!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    JG · 11 years ago
    There is no better aircraft suited for the job that the A-10 does. There is nothing currently on the drawing board to replace it except for the F 5. The F- 5 is a far cry from an A-10 and will never be able to compare to the weapons and armament that the A-10 can carry and deliver. The A-10C is second to none when it comes to ground support aircraft. Good article, again the gun pointing down is news to me too.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Rob Hutchins · 11 years ago
    I cut my teeth on the A-10 as a weapons load crew member ( man). I was assigned to the 2 TFW from 88 - 91 and the 917th FW from 91 - 92. I've worked F-16's since but the A-10 will always be my favorite. Awesome aiframe. The A-10 is one of the easiest airframs to work from a weapons perspective. I can only imagine what they are like now with all the upgrades.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    War Pig · 11 years ago
    Y'all should be quiet now. All this praise for a perfect weapon will surely offend the current regime. The Boys & I from Myrtle Beach, secured these magnificent hellions at King Fahd International Airport, Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield/Storm.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tony Dultz · 11 years ago
    640 was my aircraft from 1996 until it went to grow up to be an A-10C. It was once assigned to the 104th in Mass. I miss this working on this jet every day. Glad to see it is still raking care of business and it looks great. Great article, thanks for sending chills up my spine and a smile on my face!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Gene · 11 years ago
    The article was very good, but had very little information about the capabilities of the WartHog. It's probably the best close air support aircraft ever built, what with its ability to loiter over the battlefield and its redundant control systems. I won't go into a lot of detail here, but look up A-10 on Wikipedia and you'll be even more amazed by this supposedly "obsolete" aircraft.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    CM · 11 years ago
    Back in '76, I would watch the trial birds flying over Davis Monthan- Saturdays were special, while working as a volunteer at the Pima County Air Museum...
    In the '80's, going across the line with the Canadian Reserves to Yakima, we'd watch the '10's strafing on the ranges next door to our trace...
    To this day, I run all my computers with an A10 cursor, courtesy of the defunct ACC website of the mid '00's..
    A very special article for me, Mr. Yon- keep up the outstanding work1
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Hugh · 11 years ago
    I was a jet engine mech on these birds in the early 80's at Myrtle Beech, S.C. and loved ever minute of it.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    shawn scott · 11 years ago
    Back in the 80's when i was a kid my dad would take me over to Warren Grove, a firing range in the Pine Barrens of NJ. I t was awesome! like a personal airshow. F4, A4, F16 and A7 would come in for there strafing or bomb runs, but the one we really enjoyed was the A-10. The incredible flatulating sound of the big cannon letting loose nearly stopping the plane in mid flight. then the hard high arcing bank left....ooooh the memories! THe other memory is at a NASCAR race at dover where they did a 2-ship A-10 flyover then one of them came back and did a lap INSIDE the race track!
    Thank you A-10 pilots and crew and all of our amazing US military, keep up the great work! wish i was there with you.
    Thank you Michael for the great article!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Matthew Chisholm · 11 years ago
    I remember the first time I saw an A-10 was on MCAS Iwakuni, Japan in 198 or ealry 84. Impressive then, impressive now. I've never understood why the Marine Corps didn't buy any of these... it couldn't be THAT tought to beef up the gear for carrier landings and/or fold the wings, or whatever the reason was.

    Great report, as usual.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    jp · 11 years ago
    I see a pulitzer here for Mr Michael Yon...very well done and reported

Reader support is crucial to this mission. Weekly or monthly recurring ‘subscription’ based support is the best, though all are greatly appreciated.  Many methods are available to keep the work rolling. Click the image for a more info.



Quick Link to Paypal

Recurring Donation

QR Code

QR Code


To support using Venmo, send to:


My BitCoin QR Code

Use the QR code for BitCoin apps:


Or click the link below to help support the next dispatch with bitcoins: