188th’s A-10 loss all set, Arkansans hear

Air Force chief confirms shift to drones

Posted: January 19, 2013 at 2:49 a.m.

Gen. Mark Welsh, the U.S. Air Force chief of staff, speaks Friday during a news conference in Fort Smith.

Air Force Chief of Staff Mark Welsh confirmed Friday that the Arkansas National Guard’s 188th Fighter Wing will trade its A-10 jets for two drone missions — one flying and another performing target analysis.

General visits the 188th

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III is visited the Air National Guard's 188th Fighter Wing today at the invitation of the Arkansas congressional delegation. The 188th is scheduled to lose its 20 A-10 Thunderbolt II planes and get a mission piloting drones assigned to other bases. Local officials and members of the state’s congressional delegation hoping to keep the wing's A-10 mission urged Welsh to make the visit. (By David Gottschalk)
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Front Section, Pages 1 on 01/19/2013

"Airmen" should be capitalized and the A-10 is definately not "a one-hit wonder, with limited capabilities beyond close air support." Where in creation did those assumptions come from? Forget about CSAR, NTISR, FAC-A, Armed Recce, etc., right?

Posted by: Tankersley101

January 19, 2013 at 7:58 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Always the A-10 Warthogs, the great slow. unbreakable, ugly, easy to fly, oddball Thunderbolt 2 with the monster gun on the nose. Like the perfect machine to destroy horses in the Civil War, the A-10 was the perfect machine to destroy tanks in the new wars.

Problem is with A-10 its time has come with replacement by the A-16, a new version of the F-16 Fighter having a belly gun pod containing a GAU-13 cannon ( a cut down version of the GAU-8 used in the A-10) as well as other equipment intended to turn it into a ground attack and anti-tank plane, Now, what happened, the A-10 became oblolete and those not sent to the bone yard would be relegated to National Guard and AF Reserve duties. Response from proponents to the A-10 ranged from stunned silence to Fort Smith howls of outrage. Neithter, had any effect, but a tears hankerchief passed from General to Airmen.

Then it came to war and the A-16 was put into combat and their performance was so dismally poor they were quietly withdrawn after a few days of operation. The A-16 didn't have the range, stability, or the loiter time needed for the mission, and it was just too damn fast. It had targeting software problems that just were not available.

After the Gulf War the A-10 experienced a major reduction in force. The simple reason was that it had proved so effective, rugged, reliable, and easy to mantain that there was simply no need to keep all 650 of them in commission.

Interestingly, in the Obama years, critics of the A-10 have been at Obams's ear saying that the praise of the the A-10 was due to the enthusiasm of the moment and that upon reexamination of its performande shows it actually wasn't that good. So the Wart Hog (old technology that works against new techonology that might work) dies a political death the spend more and create jobs.

Goodby you beautiful eagle!

Posted by: JailBird

January 19, 2013 at 11:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

The A-16... Funny, Moneymyst. Dick Jonas has plenty of songs you would find entertaining. Come to think of it, so does Dos Gringos. I love both.



Posted by: Tankersley101

January 20, 2013 at 11:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )