Defense

May 15, 2013

Spangdahlem AB airmen launch final A-10 sortie in Europe

Tags:
SSgt. Daryl Knee
Spangdahlem AB, Germany

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Hogan receives an American flag from Senior Airman Christopher Nichols May 14, 2013, at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. This tactical sortie is scheduled to be the last before the squadronís inactivation in June. Hogan is the 81st Fighter Squadron director of operations from Olympia, Wash. Nichols is a 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron specialist.

Airmen at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, launched the final A-10 Thunderbolt II tactical sortie in Europe† May 14.

The airframe belongs to the 52nd Fighter Wing’s 81st Fighter Squadron, which inactivates in June.

“I’m proud to be a part of the last sortie,” said Lt. Col. Jeff Hogan, the 81st FS†director of operations and a pilot from today’s flight. “It’s definitely a sad day for the (81st) as we end 20 years of A-10 operations here. I’m just proud to take part in this historic event.”

The squadron’s inactivation is due to the termination of the Continuing Resolution provision and the enacting of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, a plan which defines the budget and expenditures of the U.S. Department of Defense. The Air Force is reviewing and realigning its force structure since President Barack Obama announced the plan.

Capt. Gregory Ulrich gives a thumbs-up on the flightline before departing for a tactical sortie May 14, 2013, at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. This was the final A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft tactical sortie in Europe at Spangdahlem AB. Ulrich is a 81st Fighter Squadron pilot from Fairfield, Calif.

Flying hours across the Air Force are being reduced; however, pilots strive to maintain their proficiency by training at every opportunity.

In this sortie, the three pilots flew the A-10s to train with a new upgrade to their helmet. The Scorpion Helmet-Mounted Cueing System includes an eyepiece attachment that taps into the data relay and communications systems of the aircraft to project a color heads-up display. Pilots can then look out of their window, and the eyepiece will highlight friendly or enemy forces.

The route of their training took them over the sky of Fulda, a village in central Germany known for its strategic location in the 1980s.

Airman 1st Class Ethan Du Barton salutes Capt. Gregory Ulrich as he takes part in the final A-10 Thunderbolt II tactical sortie May 14, 2013, at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. Flying hours across the Air Force are being reduced; however, pilots strive to maintain their proficiency by training at every opportunity.

The Fulda Gap was a route for a potential tank movement from Eastern Europe into the central Germany during the Cold War. NATO planners and coalition forces prepared defenses around the area in the case of an attack. The development of the A-10 as a close-air-support aircraft is in direct relation to anticipated enemy tank defenses along the route. When the tank movement never occurred and the Cold War ended, U.S. forces used the A-10 aircraft already stationed here for ground support in contingency operations worldwide.

“It’s a difficult day, not for just the people in this squadron, but for anyone who’s ever served with the 81st,” said Lt. Col. Clinton Eichelberger, the 81st FS†commander. “Since we’ve been here, the world has changed, and the Air Force has changed with it. Today marks the day when we move forward. The people and aircraft are moving on to other units where they will continue to serve in today’s theater of operations.”

The aircraft are relocating to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., to help fulfill training requirements and force augmentation. The flight for the last four aircraft out of Germany is slated for May 17.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines September 15, 2014

News: Navy identifies pilot presumed dead in crash - A Navy fighter pilot presumed dead after two fighter jets crashed in the far western Pacific Ocean has been identified.   Business: Boeing eyes 737-700 solution for new JSTARS - Boeing is officially planning a variant of its 737-700 commercial jetliner as a competitor for the Air Force’s...
 
 

News Briefs September 15, 2014

Australia contributing planes for anti-IS campaign Australia is preparing to contribute 600 troops and up to 10 military aircraft to the increasingly aggressive campaign against the Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Sept. 14. Abbott said Australia was responding to a formal request from the United States for specific...
 
 
Courtesy graphic

Lockheed Martin conducts flight tests of aircraft laser turret for DARPA

AFRL photograph The Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control turret that Lockheed Martin is developing for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Air Force Research Laboratory has completed initial flight testing. T...
 

 

Lockheed Martin advances live, virtual, constructive training in flight test

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jvXmOW8L3mU Lockheed Martin successfully tested a new solution for integrated live, virtual and constructive training during a flight demonstration at the company’s Aeronautics facility in Fort Worth, Texas. During the flight test, a pilot flying in a live F-16 engaged in a synthetic training exercise with a pilot flying as wing...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover arrives at Martian mountain

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has reached the Red Planet’s Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission’s long-term prime destination. “Curiosity n...
 
 

Raytheon begins full rate production on TALON Laser Guided Rockets

Under a $117 million contract awarded to Raytheon, Raytheon Missile Systems has begun production of the TALON Laser Guided Rocket. In 2013, the Armed Forces General Headquarters of the United Arab Emirates awarded Tawazun a contract to procure the TALON Laser Guided Rocket. “Full rate production of the TALON LGR is a significant milestone for...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>