EIGHT US Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt IIs from Air Force Reserve Command’s 442nd Fighter Wing/303rd Fighter Squadron ‘KC Hawgs’ at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, have been deployed to Estonia as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
They arrived at Amari Air Base on July 25 for a two-week flying training deployment. Support was provided by a US Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker from the Iowa Air National Guard’s 185th Air Refueling Wing and around 230 USAF support personnel from bases across the US and Europe.
The aircraft undertook training with the Estonian Air Force during their stay, while also flying with RAF Typhoon FGR4s deployed for the Baltic Air Policing mission. Other training was carried out with Estonian, Lithuanian and Latvian joint terminal attack controllers at the nearby Tapa Range.
On August 1, the A-10Cs also practiced highway landings in Estonia, for which local authorities had removed street signs and diverted traffic. Eight successful landings and take-offs were made from the improvised road airstrip, which could be an important alternative in a combat situation when primary runways may have been disabled. AFM