By Gary Wetzel
The untold tale of A-10 devices in Operation Enduring Freedom reaches its end with this moment of 2 volumes concentrating on the kinds wrestle missions in Afghanistan. that includes a number of first-hand debts and images from those that skilled the clash, in addition to imagery from professional army records, this ebook deals a distinct and unique perception into the checklist of the A-10 in a single of the twenty first Centurys most vital conflicts. in the beginning, the A-10 Thunderbolt used to be now not a favorite of the USAF, which, ahead of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, hoped to shunt this chilly warfare relic onto the USA military and Marine Corps. yet when you consider that then the ‘Warthog, with its bold armament, ruggedness and suppleness, has constantly confirmed itself in wrestle and advanced into the worlds most desirable shut aid airplane. In 2002 the Thunderbolt used to be on the vanguard of Operation Enduring Freedom, the U.S. career of Afghanistan.
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Extra resources for A-10 Thunderbolt II Units of Operation Enduring Freedom 2008-14
Munitions transfers also had to be made, as the A-10s had unique weaponry requirements that could not be met from stocks then held at Kandahar. Lt Col Michael Millen was CO of the 354th EFS during its time in-theatre, and here he recalls the eventful start to the deployment; ‘In the first 72 hours I was at Kandahar we had a rocket attack that did not kill anybody but definitely got my attention. Then a Mi-8 “Hip” helicopter owned by Russian company Vertikal-T crashed and killed 16 people. Finally, the very morning I stepped my first two pilots to fly a Lt Col Michael Millen, CO of the 354th EFS ‘Bulldogs’, prepares to taxi out in his A-10C at the Kandahar Airfield at the start of a mission on 1 January 2010.
After flying the minimum number of sorties to become mission-qualified, Palan deployed with his squadron. On his first combat mission he fired his 30 mm gun just once, in support of a SOF team, following up a Hellfire attack made by an orbiting Predator. Less than a week later Palan would fly his fourth mission, and for his actions he would be awarded the DFC. He reported; ‘My fourth sortie was on 1 October 2010, and I ended up being a wingman for the squadron’s DO [Director of Operations]. We were tasked with supporting a SOF unit that had run into some trouble north of the Helmand River valley near Lake Kajaki.
At this point I was finally able to shut the engine down. I hadn’t done this earlier as it was still producing thrust, even though it was burning. I needed every bit of thrust I could get in order to clear that ridgeline. My wingman did a battle damage check. The engine was done burning so, as I approached Kandahar, I decided I’d jettison my load-out as we had an area to do this south of the base – if I hadn’t jettisoned my ordnance I’d have landed well short of the runway. I put the jet up on the right wing on my downwind so I could let off on the rudder a bit.
A-10 Thunderbolt II Units of Operation Enduring Freedom 2008-14 by Gary Wetzel