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

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier
  • 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
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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