The first production A-10A was delivered to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, in October 1975. It was designed specially for the close air support mission and had the ability to combine large military loads, long loiter and wide combat radius, which proved to be vital assets to the United States and its allies during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Noble Anvil.
The A-10/OA-10 Thunderbolt IIs have excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and are highly accurate weapons-delivery platforms. They can loiter near battle areas for extended periods of time and operate under 1.000-foot ceilings with 1.5-mile visibility. Their wide combat radius and short takeoff and landing capability permit operations in and out of locations near front lines. Using night vision goggles, A-10/OA-10 pilots can conduct their missions during darkness.
The upgraded A-10C reached initial operation capability in September 2007. Specifically designed for close air support, its combination of large and varied ordnance load, long loiter time, accurate weapons delivery, austere field capability, and survivability has proven invaluable to the United States and its allies.
The aircraft 81st Fighter Squadron based at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany has participated in operations Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Provide Comfort, Desert Fox, Noble Anvil, Deny Flight, Deliberate Guard, Allied Force, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
|81-0962 (w/o? 01-04-2011)|