Consider A-10 Thunderbolts for new mission

Dan Reinhard, Minot

I fully realize that my most senior fellow Airmen never reads The Minot Daily News or will give me a chance to express my view. But I will nonetheless.

The war in Ukraine is without doubt the most hallowing testament to the will of a sovereign nation to survive. It is a country, despite all the controversy, trying to make a living for its citizens – to exist in a deeply troubled and competitive world. The Ukrainians are presently being slaughtered by Russian long-range missiles and artillery to which the Ukrainian military does not have the proper counteroffensive weapons to fight with. With that said, I plead for understanding of all I am about to suggest.

The Air Force has been retiring many A-10 Thunderbolts over the past several years. And I understand why, except for decimating the cartels in Mexico, why keep them? I was a very small part of the original cadre that brought the A-10 aircraft into the Air Force inventory. I attended the Fairchild Corporation training seminars. I know about titanium bathtubs, system redundancy, and the lethality of a flying GAU-8 Gatling gun. I know well that it was originally designed to stop the Russian tanks and armament from attacking our allies in Europe. At a very effective and efficient cost.

So here is my argument fellow Airmen: Why is that aircraft designed from the ground up to destroy armored equipment, sitting on a piece of concrete or in a hangar around our country? I have rudimentary understanding of the enormous amounts of training required to fly that little monster into battle. And I understand about air cover required from above and at ground level to protect it. But somehow, I know fellow Airmen can provide that.

But isn’t it time to prove the reasons that we brought the A-10 into our inventory? I ask that we give all of them, except for one ANG squadron, to Ukrainian pilots – after intense training. We can, once again, prove that Airmen know the way to victory.

Here’s my biggest concern however, knowing the A-10 pilot with a motto “Have Gun, Will Travel.” I suspect that there would be a major brawl with my Airman A-10 pilots, to fly their Big Gun into battle…and never give up that stick to anyone… But believe this to be the best answer.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today