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D-M retires 38 A-10s, gains 41 more

Members of the 355th Fighter Wing A-10 Divestiture Team transport an A-10C Thunderbolt II jet aircraft to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., April 8, 2013. The aircraft is being retired to make room for incoming aircraft from other bases. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier/released)

Members of the 355th Fighter Wing A-10 Divestiture Team transport an A-10C Thunderbolt II jet aircraft to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., April 8, 2013. The aircraft is being retired to make room for incoming aircraft from other bases. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier/released)

Members of the 355th Fighter Wing A-10 Divestiture Team retire two A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., April 8, 2013. The aircraft have been flying since the late 1970’s and will be used for parts on aircraft still flying. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier/released)

Members of the 355th Fighter Wing A-10 Divestiture Team retire two A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., April 8, 2013. The aircraft have been flying since the late 1970’s and will be used for parts on aircraft still flying. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier/released)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Daniel P. Kenney, 355th Fighter Wing A-10 Divestiture Team officer in charge, signs paperwork at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., April 8, 2013. Kenney signed over two A-10s to be placed into retirement. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier/released)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Daniel P. Kenney, 355th Fighter Wing A-10 Divestiture Team officer in charge, signs paperwork at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., April 8, 2013. Kenney signed over two A-10s to be placed into retirement. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier/released)

A crew chief from the 358th Fighter Squadron taxis in an A-10C Thunderbolt II from Barksdale Air Force Base, La. at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., April 9, 2013. The Barksdale aircraft is being transferred to D-M to replace retiring A-10s. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier/released)

A crew chief from the 358th Fighter Squadron taxis in an A-10C Thunderbolt II from Barksdale Air Force Base, La. at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., April 9, 2013. The Barksdale aircraft is being transferred to D-M to replace retiring A-10s. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier/released)

Two A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft from the 917th Fighter Group at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. join the 355th Fighter Wing A-10s at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., April
 9, 2013. There are 41 aircraft scheduled to arrive at D-M throughout the next few months. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier/released)

Two A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft from the 917th Fighter Group at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. join the 355th Fighter Wing A-10s at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., April 9, 2013. There are 41 aircraft scheduled to arrive at D-M throughout the next few months. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier/released)

An A-10C Thunderbolt II from the 917th Fighter Group at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. joins the 355th Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., April 9, 2013. The A-10 will be stationed at D-M as part of the 355th FW. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier/released)

An A-10C Thunderbolt II from the 917th Fighter Group at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. joins the 355th Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., April 9, 2013. The A-10 will be stationed at D-M as part of the 355th FW. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier/released)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- The 355th Fighter Wing began retiring 38 A-10 Thunderbolt II jet aircraft to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group here, April 8.

The Wing began transferring A-10s in order to receive 41 A-10s from multiple bases during the next few months. The first group of aircraft arrived from Barksdale AFB, La., April 9.

355th FW is scheduled to receive A-10 from various bases around the world to include Barksdale AFB, La., Whiteman AFB, Mo., Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany and Osan Air Base, Korea.

"The change comes from budget cuts in Congress," said Master Sgt. Mark Molineaux, 355th FW A-10 Divestiture Team superintendent. "Congress looked at all the A-10s in the fleet and decided which ones to get rid of based on the number of hours on the plane, body condition and flying ability."

The A-10 Divestiture Team is a conglomerate of aircraft maintainers, from multiple Air Force specialty codes, that formed to accomplish these transfers and retirements more effectively, while minimizing impact to the Wing's flying mission.

"Not all of the A-10s being stationed here will be active duty," Molineaux said. "One of the active duty training units is scheduled to transfer over to a Reserve unit sometime in the future. The jets will be spread out through all the squadrons."

With the transfer of planes, there will be a lot more work for the maintainers. With one of the units converting over to Reserve, there will be less active duty personnel stationed here to work on the A-10s.

"While the process of retiring and accepting aircraft certainly isn't a new one, each airframe presents unique challenges," Molineaux said. "Fortunately, we have some of the Air Force's best and brightest aircraft maintainers here in the 355th Maintenance Group, who have repeatedly proven that no challenge is too great."

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