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The A-10 Warthog will keep on BRRRTing in the free world for at least another decade
The beloved A-10 Warthog is primed and ready to make close air support great again.
The Air Force has finally installed the last set of new wings for 173 of the service's 283 A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft as part of a $1.1 billion contract with Boeing, Air Force Material Command announced on Monday.
Personnel from the Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill Air Force Base in Utah handled the rewinging of some 162 A-10s, the Air Force said, while the other 11 wings were swapped in at Osan Air Base in South Korea. And according to to test pilot, the effort was clear success.
"[The rewinged A-10] flew great and passed all the [functional check flight] checks," 514th Flight Test Squadron commander Lt. Coll. Ryan Richardson said in the Air Force statement. "It's unusual to have an airplane in production for as long as this one was and have it come out and fly as well as this one did."
First introduced to Air Force inventory back in 1976, the fate of the CAS workhorse known among infantry troops for the distinctive roar of its GAU-8/A Avenger gatling gun, the A-10's future has been in jeopardy in recent years due to legislative jousting over the U.S. defense budget.
While the initial Boeing contract to rewing 173 A-10s was signed way back in 2007, the Air Force told Congress in 2017 that the remaining 110 aircraft in its fleet were at risk of being permanently grounded unless lawmakers could find an additional $103 million.
That $103 million request was included in the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill signed by President Donald Trump in March 2018, although then-Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told the House Armed Services Committee at t he time that the new funds only covered "about four more rewings" on top of the existing 173.
As of April of this year, the Air Force had set aside $267 million for a new "A-10-Thunderbolt II Advanced-Wing Continuation Kit" (ATTACK) to purchase "about 20 total wings," as spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told Military.com at the time.
The Air Force may be inching its way towards a complete rewinging of its entire A-10 fleet, but for the moment, the prospect of keeping the A-10 BRRRTing with impunity for at least the next decade may fill the average warfighter's heart with joy.
A Minnesota Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with three Guardsmen aboard crashed south of St. Cloud on Thursday, said National Guard spokeswoman Army Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens.
At this time, the National Guard is not releasing any information about the status of the three people aboard the helicopter, Heusdens told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
The Pentagon's latest attempt to twist itself in knots to deny that it is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East has a big caveat.
Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said there are no plans to send that many troops to the region "at this time."
Farah's statement does not rule out the possibility that the Defense Department could initially announce a smaller deployment to the region and subsequently announce that more troops are headed downrange.
The Navy could deploy a second carrier to the Middle East if Trump orders an Iran surge, top admiral says
The Navy could send a second aircraft carrier to the Middle East if President Donald Trump orders a surge of forces to the region, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said on Thursday.
Gordon Lubold and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported the United States is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to deter Iran from attacking U.S. forces and regional allies. The surge forces could include several ships.
I didn't think a movie about World War I would, or even could, remind me of Afghanistan.
Somehow 1917 did, and that's probably the highest praise I can give Sam Mendes' newest war drama: It took a century-old conflict and made it relatable.
An internal investigation spurred by a nude photo scandal shows just how deep sexism runs in the Marine Corps
"I will still have to work harder to get the perception away from peers and seniors that women can't do the job."
Some years ago, a 20-year-old female Marine, a military police officer, was working at a guard shack screening service members and civilians before they entered the base. As a lance corporal, she was new to the job and the duty station, her first in the Marine Corps.
At some point during her shift, a male sergeant on duty drove up. Get in the car, he said, the platoon sergeant needs to see you. She opened the door and got in, believing she was headed to see the enlisted supervisor of her platoon.
Instead, the sergeant drove her to a dark, wooded area on base. It was deserted, no other Marines were around. "Hey, I want a blowjob," the sergeant told her.
"What am I supposed, what do you do as a lance corporal?" she would later recall. "I'm 20 years old ... I'm new at this. You're the only leadership I've ever known, and this is what happens."
She looked at him, then got out of the car and walked away. The sergeant drove up next to her and tried to play it off as a prank. "I'm just fucking with you," he said. "It's not a big deal."
It was one story among hundreds of others shared by Marines for a study initiated in July 2017 by the Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL). Finalized in March 2018, the center's report was quietly published to its website in September 2019 with little fanfare.
The culture of the Marine Corps is ripe for analysis. A 2015 Rand Corporation study found that women felt far more isolated among men in the Corps, while the Pentagon's Office of People Analytics noted in 2018 that female Marines rated hostility toward them as "significantly higher" than their male counterparts.
But the center's report, Marines' Perspectives on Various Aspects of Marine Corps Organizational Culture, offers a proverbial wakeup call to leaders, particularly when paired alongside previous studies, since it was commissioned by the Marine Corps itself in the wake of a nude photo sharing scandal that rocked the service in 2017.
The scandal, researchers found, was merely a symptom of a much larger problem.