“Grunts in the sky”

Here’s a great video tribute to the A-10 Thunderbolt II ground support aircraft, and the work it’s done on behalf of US troops in Afghanistan.  Having been in need of support like that from time to time (but mostly not received it – that was a different war, on a different continent, where our air support was extremely limited), this was eye-opening for me.

I suspect that since aviation became important on the battlefield, any number of soldiers from any number of armies would applaud the A-10 pilots for what they did – unless they were on the receiving end of it.  Those people might have different reactions!



  1. Hey Peter;

    We Army guys love the A-10, she was the ace in the hole when the Soviets came through the Fulda Gap. Luckily that never happened but I did see what the A-10 did for us in Desert Storm. It bothers me that the Air force wants to kill the plane and assign the duties to the F-16.

  2. I've always said that army close air support should be operated by the army, leaving strategic work to the air force. Only the army cares enough to do the very best in its own behalf.

  3. The AF fighter-pilot generals really. REALLy, want to retire the A-10s to the
    Boneyard. Or so I understand.

  4. Perhaps Trump should have the Air Force given back to the Army as a subordinate force. Want to bet the A-10 would suddenly become a star in those general's eyes? Providing they still had a uniform to wear, that is.

  5. You know as a kid I built that exact same model the pilot mentioned in the video. The A-10 has definitely proved it's worth and economy and I see no reason to remove it from the inventory.

    I do wonder how it truly would've fared in a less permissive environment like the aforementioned Fulda Gap scenario which it would've been thrown into. The Soviets would've sent along a multitude of capable mobile SAM systems and the skies over Germany would've been so contested by aircraft and opposing long range SAM systems that operating above AAA and MANPAD range would have been suicidal. Could the A-10 really have survived screaming in at tree top level hosing down Soviet armored columns with 30mm and dropping rockeyes and snake eyes?

    The argument is that in a scenario like Afghanistan given modern weapons, one could have an orbiting B-1B or other variety of bomb truck armed with 50+ precision guided bombs of varying sizes that would be just as effective. The JATAC says I want 14 GBU-38s layed down 200 feet apart on a line from GPS point A to GPS point B and a 31 in the center of the compound in the middle of that line. The B-1 can see everything just as well or better at 15000 feet with his Sniper pod. Shortly after the call is made 4 and a half tons of bombs hit within a few feet of their aim points. No A-10 pilot risks a MANPAD or flying into terrain while making a gun run. Plus the bomb truck has longer loiter time and being faster can cover more area and carry more ordnance. So goes the argument anyway.

  6. If the Air Farce throws out the A-10, the Army will be waiting, checkbook in hand, the Hell with the Florida agreement.

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