Here Come the Hogs

The Arkansas Air National Guard’s 188th Fighter Wing in Fort Smith, Ark., is actually happy to be trading their F-16 fighters for A-10 attack aircraft, reports the Times Record. The reason is that the A-10 has a longer projected shelf life—perhaps 2025 to the F-16’s 2012. The switch, of course, is BRAC 2005 motivated, but it was a close run thing that the wing managed to keep a flying mission because the Air Force had targeted the unit for demise. Now, the wing gets a different—not new but more lasting—aircraft and some hundred new jobs. It already has begun shuffling off its F-16s, which go to a California ANG unit with even older F-16s, and will continue to do so in small batches through spring, when it will begin receiving Warthogs.