Retiring the A-10 ‘Warthog’: An Era Ends at Davis-Monthan AFB

The A-10 Thunderbolt II, affectionately known as the "Warthog," is being decommissioned at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base after almost half a century of service. The first plane, with the tail number 82-648, was retired and moved from the 354th Fighter Squadron to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, also known as the Boneyard, for long-term storage at Davis-Monthan AFB. The 355th Wing is phasing out its A-10s as the US Air Force pivots towards modernization and the procurement of aircraft more suitable for operations in contested environments. The A-10's pilots and maintainers at Davis-Monthan will assume new roles within the USAF as the A-10s are replaced by newer platforms like the F-35 Lightning II.


The A-10, designed by Fairchild Republic in the 1970s, was built for close air support missions and earned a legendary reputation for its ability to deliver accurate firepower in support of ground troops. It played a pivotal role in missions from Operation Desert Storm to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq during the Global War on Terrorism, earning accolades for its durability and effectiveness on the battlefield.


"The aircraft is unique in its varied capability to support our ground team not only with precision munitions from afar, as we're currently doing in the Middle East, but also with surgical precision using the GAU-8 gun in the most challenging environments imaginable," commented US Air Force Colonel Razvan Radoescu, 355th Operations Group commander. "The aircraft, along with our rigorous training standards, are the reasons why so many of our joint and coalition forces were able to return home to fight another day – because they had A-10s overhead providing cover, or employing weapons to save their lives when no one else could."

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As the A-10 fleet is gradually phased out over the next three to five years, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base will enter a transition period. Plans are in progress to enhance its capabilities in areas such as rescue operations.

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