A-10 Thunderbolt IIs fly daily strike missions in support of OIR
UNDISCLOSED LOCATION - Since their arrival to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Group here in late November 2014, A-10 Thunderbolt II from the 163rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron have expended nearly 50,000 rounds of ammunition and dropped approximately 500 bombs and maverick missiles in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
The unit started their deployment at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, and then transitioned to the 332nd AEG, said Lt. Col. Bill Leahy, 163rd EFS commander. They are flying daily strike missions with coalition forces supporting OIR.
The biggest challenge the unit has faced was transitioning from a fully established base to standing up operations here.
“When we came to our current base, our maintenance and operations folks had six tents each with no power and no communications,” said Leahy. “Seven days later we were flying 24-hour combat operations in Iraq and Syria. Our guys have done an amazing job with very little. It shows the versatility and flexibility of the A-10 and the maintainers and operators who accomplish our mission.”
Since its arrival, the Blacksnakes have been flying standard A-10 mission sets of close air support, battlefield interdiction and combat search and rescue. Using GPS and laser-guided bombs, rockets and the famous A-10 30mm cannon, they have contributed to the 2,000 plus strike missions and nearly 10,000 weapon releases by coalition forces since the beginning of OIR.
The 332nd AEG is also working closely with coalition partners to navigate the challenges of conducting operations out of a still fairly new base.
“We started here at a bare empty field and worked with support to build an aircraft maintenance squadron,” said Chief Master Sgt. Larry Chandler, 332nd Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron day-shift maintenance chief. “We share facilities, parts and knowledge with our coalition partners, and we have two 12-hour shifts of maintainers working 24-hours a day supporting the air tasking order.”
This work, A-10 Thunderbolt IIs fly daily strike missions in support of OIR, by TSgt Jared Marquis, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.
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