The Cold War ended more than 20 years ago and things like this still make me realize just how much things have changed.
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – The U.S. Air Force launched the final A-10 Thunderbolt II tactical sortie in Europe at Spangdahlem AB May 14, 2013.
The airframe belongs to the 52nd Fighter Wing’s 81st Fighter Squadron, which inactivates in June.
“I’m proud to be a part of the last sortie,” said Lt. Col. Jeff Hogan, 81st director of operations and a pilot from today’s flight. “It’s definitely a sad day for the (81st) as we end 20 years of A-10 operations here. I’m just proud to take part in this historic event.”
The A-10 has been a Cold War icon in Europe for over 20 years and was originally deployed to stop the hordes of Soviet armor across the Fulda Gap in then West Germany.
I’d always pictured that operations would look something like this:
Speaking of Soviet Armor, English Russia has an interesting feature on the Armoured Repair Plant №61 in St. Petersburg.
On a side note there’s, as of yet, there is no comment from DoD on whether or not the 81st Fighter Squadron will be reactivated and deployed to counter the “cat-tank” threat that has recently emerged in the Chicago loop (the vid was sent to me by a friend as I was working on this post. She works here.).