Pilots and soldiers discuss the A-10 aircraft and its use in combat.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — There has been much debate recently about the U.S. Air Force’s intention to phase out the A-10 “Warthog” aircraft in favor of the modern F-35 Lightning all-purpose fighter. There’s a strong political element to this debate, and it’s hard to separate the facts from the behind-the-scene maneuvering by a company or politician to support one side or the other.
With that in mind, it’s impossible to report the facts behind a recent video posted to YouTube, simply titled “Hawg,” that shows the relationship between Air Force A-10 pilots and U.S. Army soldiers on the ground who rely on close air support provided by the A-10. As discussed in the video, the A-10 was designed from the start to provide close air support for ground troops. In the course of several wars, it's also been determined that the A-10’s 30mm cannon can easily destroy tanks and other armored weapons, earning it admiration as a tank killer.
The only way to see the reality of soldiers on the ground and airmen in the sky is to get video at close range from military camera operators and combat journalists. “Hawg” shows that in a believable way, presenting a strong case for maintaining the A-10 aircraft in the Air Force’s inventory. Sure, maintaining the A-10 costs money that might be used to further the development of the F-35, but tell that to soldiers in a firefight who stand a little taller with an A-10 at their backs.
If you’re interested in military issues and want to get a visual taste of actual combat by soldiers on patrol, take a look at this video: