A-10s flew close air support for Marine ground forces during a live-fire Integrated Training Exercise held at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., earlier this month. “Getting to work with live artillery, tanks, mortars, Cobras, and Harriers that are shooting real weapons is pretty rare,” said 354th Fighter Squadron pilot Capt. Matthew Barrett, from Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. “There’s a lot of pieces … you’ve got the ground forces moving in a very dynamic manner,” added pilot Capt. Ryan Rutter in the Feb. 22 release. Davis-Monthan A-10s, which staged from March ARB, Calif., cooperated with AV-8B Harriers, AH-1Z Vipers, and UH-1Y Huey helicopters from 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing to ready the Marine units for an upcoming expeditionary deployment, according to a release. HH-60G Pavehawks along with pilots, maintainers, and support personnel from Nellis AFB, Nev., also supported ITX 16-2, which wrapped up earlier this month.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.