The Air Force A-10 force deployed to Al Asad Airfield in Iraq now is getting back into the action much quicker, courtesy of the Marine Corps. Marine Wing Support Squadron 271 currently handles all aircraft refueling at the field, working a variety of aircraft from helicopters to EA-6B Prowlers and C-5s. The marines recently added the A-10 force to its “hot pit” refueling process, saving the A-10s almost two hours on each combat turn, reports 1st Lt. Shannon Collins. Previously the marines had refueled the A-10 Warthogs using fuel trucks. TSgt. Brian Curry, an A-10 crew chief deployed from the Pennsylvania Air National Guard’s 111th Fighter Wing, says the marines “were very easy to train” in the Warthog refueling process. He went on: “They have attitudes that can’t be described. They want us to hot pit, and they look forward to it.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.