Spang A-10s on Final Training Deployment

Airmen and A-10s of the 81st Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem AB, Germany, departed the base for Monte Real, Portugal, on their final deployed exercise ahead of the unit’s planned disbandment later this year, announced unit officials. These Warthogs are making their training debut in Exercise Real Thaw, the Portuguese military’s cooperative training gathering, according to a Feb. 8 base release. The A-10s, which left for Portugal on that same day, will primarily fly close air support, forward air control, and search and rescue missions, augmenting allied forces during the scenarios, states the release. Aircrews will also execute additional roles, including anti-shipping and air-to-air missions, as well as special operations support. The 81st FS is standing down as part of the Air Force’s Fiscal 2013 force structure adjustments. The Air Force is dispersing some of the unit’s A-10s to stateside squadrons, but has not yet announced the final decisions on where all of the jets and unit’s airmen will go. (Spangdahlem report by SSgt. Nathanael Callon)