A First for Spangdahlem Warthogs

An expeditionary force of A-10 ground-attack airplanes and more than 200 airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem AB, Germany, has arrived at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, for a four-month deployment. These A-10s, now dubbed the 81st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, replaced A-10s from the Arkansas Air National Guard’s 188th Fighter Wing in Fort Smith that returned home May 23. While Spangdahlem’s A-10s have previously operated out of Bagram Airfield, this is their first time providing close air support throughout Afghanistan out of Kandahar. The Kandahar tour was the 188th FW’s first deployment since the Air Guard wing switched from F-16s to A-10s in April 2007. (Kandahar report by TSgt. Renni Thornton) (Fort Smith report by Capt. Heath Allen)