USAF retires A-10 from European theatre
The US Air Force (USAF) marked the withdrawal of the Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II close air support aircraft from Europe with the inactivation of the type's final operating unit in Germany on 18 June.
During a ceremony to mark the occasion, the 81st Fighter Squadron (FS) of the 52nd Fighter Wing (FW) based at Spangdahlem Air Base was stood down after 71 years of operations in Europe, the last 19 of which were with the A-10. With the A-10s now retired from the European theatre of operations, the 52nd FW will continue to fly the multirole Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon as its only strike asset.
Source: Gareth Jennings, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly News - 23 June 2013
Photo: With its 30 mm Gatlin gun, the A-10 is one of the most potent and feared platforms in the USAF inventory. However, its lack of a multirole capability means it is to bear the brunt of cuts aimed at helping to balance the air force's budget. (Photo by US Air Force)