USAF A-10 Warthogs supplying non-stop close air support for renewed fighting in Afghanistan this summer still have to undergo their 400-flight hour maintenance routine. A-10 maintainers at Bagram Air Base work 24/7 on two Warthogs at once to maintain the increased operational pace. They are performing more maintenance because of the higher flying hours and loading more weapons. Weapons loaders claim it’s a rare day when a Warthog doesn’t return empty. (Read more here.)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.