Unleash the hogs - Idaho's A-10 Warthogs hold Green Flag record
By Master Sgt. Becky Vanshur, 124th Fighter Wing
/ Published May 03, 2014
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. - -- Pilots from the 190th Fighter Squadron and their supporting team of 124th Fighter Wing airmen, traveled to Exercise Green Flag East where they "unleashed the hogs." From the operating base (Barksdale AFB, La.) they decisively turned a major ground maneuver exercise at nearby Fort Polk in favor of the "Blue Forces."
More than 120 airmen from the Idaho Air National Guard and nine A-10 Thunderbolt II "Warthogs" flew for the nearly three-week air combat exercise at Barksdale AFB March 9-26.
Green Flag East Commander Lt. Col. Brett Waring praised the 124FW and the 190FS airmen on March 25 as the exercise wound down. He spoke to airmen about the success of the daily sorties and missions. He painted a vivid picture about the scenarios executed in the Army range training grounds near Fort Polk and the Toledo Bend Army recreational lake.
"With units losing forces, all the while, having downed aviators out there in the mix of this fluid dynamic battlefield, it's pretty amazing with the way you guys (190th FS) accomplished this, with the close air support missions," Waring said.
"They unleashed the hogs and we had the most kinetic strike operations, in the last three years of Green Flag, just in those last few days."
"The army, for those of you that didn't hear, over there opposite the operations side, the army got it handed to them. No other way to put it. They had to regenerate forces twice, because the opposition force was beating them that badly. Going into the last few days of the exercise, they finally started to get it," Waring said.
He stated, "We unleashed the hogs and you all performed brilliantly from that. The A-10s, particularly the 190th Fighter Squadron, now hold the Green Flag record for the most air-to-air kills in a Green Flag East rotation."
"One of our wing goals for Green Flag was to foster camaraderie amongst the airmen in different groups, area and shops," said Idaho's deployed Detachment Commander, Maj. Jennifer Chase.
"By supporting communication across all jobs and experience levels, each airman gained lasting knowledge of new fields and empathy for individual experiences. This experience broadened career prospects, strengthened friendships and ultimately benefitted every airman from the newest airmen, who has never deployed, to the Wing leadership," she said.
Chase said Green Flag East was a beneficial exercise for everyone involved. "The tireless efforts of the 124th Fighter Wing allowed 133 personnel and nine A-10s to deploy only 55 days after being assigned to this exercise. The quality of this exercise is directly attributed to the professionalism of the men and women in our wing," she continued, "and we supported every sortie with absolutely zero maintenance or operation cancelations."
Although the A-10 "Warthog" is known for close air support and air-to-ground support, Green Flag Commander Lt. Col. Brett Waring confirmed that the 190th FS and Idaho's A-10s now hold the record at Green Flag East for most air-to-air kills.
He said, "So what does that all mean? Single purpose, single mission? My a--. That bird out there kicks a-- because of what you all have done with it. The A-10 community has always been tight across the different shops, between ops, maintenance, munitions, support," he continued, "Everybody knows what it means to load bombs onto that bird and see them come back without them."
-Unleash the hogs.