Small Wars Journal

Warthog

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Warthog

by Michael Yon

Download the full article: Warthog

Kandahar, Afghanistan

23 March 2010

The mission required crossing a bridge that had been blown up a couple hours earlier by a suicide car bomber. The attacker hit a convoy from the 82nd Airborne, killing American soldier Ian Gelig. Now with a hole in the bridge and recovery operations underway, our mission was cancelled. So I called the Air Force to see if they were busy. Yes, it turns out, the Air Force is busy every day, but Captain Kristen Duncan took me down to the ramp where the A-10 "Warthogs" are parked.

Download the full article: Warthog

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Michael Yon is a former Green Beret who has been reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan since December 2004. No other reporter has spent as much time with combat troops in these two wars. Michael's dispatches from the frontlines have earned him the reputation as the premier independent combat journalist of his generation. His work is published at Michael Yon Online and has been featured on Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNN, ABC, FOX, as well as hundreds of other major media outlets all around the world.

About the Author(s)

Michael Yon is a former Green Beret, native of Winter Haven, Fl. who has been reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan since December 2004.  No other reporter has spent as much time with combat troops in these two wars.  Michael’s dispatches from the frontlines have earned him the reputation as the premier independent combat journalist of his generation.  His work has been featured on “Good Morning America,” The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNN, ABC, FOX, as well as hundreds of other major media outlets all around the world.

Comments

TROUFION

Thu, 03/25/2010 - 8:20pm

If there is a new A10 D model give it foldable wings and make it Carrier Qualed then let the Marines have it, please. It is a great airplane and would be a huge asset to the MAGTF. No offense to the USAF but there is nothing better than a Marine Pilot providing CAS for Marine Grunts. The A10 is a grunts plane. Of course this is a dream that couldn't happen as the Corps and AF wouldn't buy in, too bad.

Tim McCann (not verified)

Thu, 03/25/2010 - 5:57am

One of the most important factors concerning high performance combat aircraft is how long it stays in the air verses how long it is inop due to unscheduled maintenance. I know several USAF avionics guys who say the A10 is an aircraft you can take to ther desert and not have to worry about the environment. The A10 has better operational rates than other newer aircraft. This is what really counts. Yes we need an A10-D but please don't load it up with expensive difficult to maintain electronics that will keep it sitting in a shop instead of in the air. As the previous poster noted the USAF brass doesn't like the A10 because she is not pretty to look at. The A10 originally designed to be a tank killer now does CAS down in the mud slugging it out with the enemy. With US Army doctrine changing to emphasize asymetrical warfare rather than old cold war set piece battles I believe we should have a wing of A-10's in the active USAF that can do the necessary dirty work when the marines and grunts need help.

BJ Armstrong (not verified)

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 7:53pm

The A-10 is an ugly aircraft, the kind that only their pilots and a grunt in need of CAS can love (as an H-46 pilot I know a little of what I speak). It's interesting that Michael Yon's piece is put up the same day as the link about the Navy (/USAF) IW aircraft.

The A-10 is an afterthought today, flown only in the reserves and Air Guard because its not a fighter plane or "sexy" enough for the regular Air Force. However, the A-10 was designed for what it is doing in Afghanistan...Exactly. It was almost killed by the Air Force brass when Pierre Sprey used John Boyd's EM theory and more to design the perfect CAS aircraft, but luckily for us Sprey and Boyd were more than up to the task of defending her.

The irony is that all the design elements (survivability, counter-MANPAD, CAS weaponeering) that are seen as limitations of the Super Tucano and her peers were the very reason for the A-10. The OV-10's and A-1s of Vietnam did yeoman work but were far from being perfect. The A-10 originally was designed to fix their limitations and provide an aircraft with room for growth. Talk to a pilot who LANDED after having half his wing shot off, and you can only be talking with an A-10 pilot.

Do we need an A-10 Delta?