A-10 Tank Buster lands on American road for the first time in practical training

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The U.S. Air Force deployed modern fighters to U.S. civilian highways for the first time as the military tested its readiness for a potential new Cold War.

As part of training to prepare for a conflict with China or Russia, four A-10C Thunderbolt II tank destroyers and two transport planes were deployed to the Michigan highway in the morning.

This training was part of a larger Northern Strike exercise that the Pentagon has described as the largest annual preliminary training.

This year, approximately 5,100 participants from the military and Allied services attended. It operates from July 31 to August 14.

“It is believed to be the first time in history that a modern Air Force aircraft intentionally lands on a civilian route on American soil,” said the Air Force, commander of the Center d combat readiness training for road operations. Captain James Rossi. “Our efforts are focused on our ability to train fighters in all environments across the continuum so that our country can compete, deter and win today and tomorrow. to augment.”

On Thursday morning, four A-10C Thunderbolt II attack jets landed on a Michigan highway as part of a training exercise to test the Air Force’s ability to operate in difficult conditions.

This is the first time that a modern military aircraft has landed on a private American highway, in conjunction with the Michigan DOT.

This is the first time that a modern military aircraft has landed on a private American highway, in conjunction with the Michigan DOT.

The training was conducted on the Michigan M-32 freeway in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Transportation, sharing footage of a jet plane landing and taxiing on the freeway.

The agency did not immediately return a request for comment on the need to modify the freeway to accommodate the plane, but electricity to neighboring homes was cut in the morning.

The operation of the highway, overseen by the Michigan Air Force National Guard, involved the participation of many Air Force and Pentagon organizations.

Two of the A-10s fly from the 127th Michigan Air National Guard Wing, located out of Selfridges Air National Guard Base, and the other two are active at 335th based at Davis Air National Guard Base. -Monsan. It was from the wing. Arizona, Drive reported.

Meanwhile, a pair of C-146A Wolfhound operations transport planes came from the Air Force Special Operations Command at Duke Field, Florida.

Jet videos showed them landing on the Michigan M-32 freeway at Alpena, which was near the training base.

Jet videos showed them landing on the Michigan M-32 freeway at Alpena, which was near the training base.

Attack planes can be seen taxiing along the highway.  The training was part of the larger Northern Strike exercise, the largest annual exercise, according to the Pentagon.

Attack planes can be seen taxiing along the highway. The training was part of the larger Northern Strike exercise, the largest annual exercise, according to the Pentagon.

Road training brought in Air Force assets from bases in Florida and Arizona, and from the Air National Guard in Michigan.

Road training brought in Air Force assets from bases in Florida and Arizona, and from the Air National Guard in Michigan.

Manufactured as a rugged aircraft, the A-10 has short take-off and landing capabilities that are ideal for use in conditions such as highways and unfinished airfields.

Manufactured as a rugged aircraft, the A-10 has short take-off and landing capabilities that are ideal for use in conditions such as highways and unfinished airfields.

The Davis-Monsan base also provided search and rescue support for training.

Road training was overseen by the nearby Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, which supports larger northern strike exercises.

The global exercise is taking place at the National All Area Combat Center, also in Michigan. The center organizes exercises related to land, sea, space and cybernetic warfare as well as air capabilities.

Drive also reported that the Michigan Air National Guard landed a plane in similar conditions and that the 127th Wing A-10 was operating on the Estonian highway as part of a previous exercise in 2018. Did so.

In addition to the A-10, a Wolfhound transport aircraft to the C-146A participated in the training.  These are military planes converted from civilian models

In addition to the A-10, a Wolfhound transport aircraft to the C-146A participated in the training. These are military planes converted from civilian models

Many of the C-146's operations are kept under wraps, but the Air Force says it aims to transport small crews and cargo to support command operations on the battlefield.

Many of the C-146’s operations are kept under wraps, but the Air Force says it aims to transport small crews and cargo to support command operations on the battlefield.

Road training is part of the Air Force’s new Agile Combat Employment (ACE) principles, which aim to maintain combat capabilities in the event of destruction of facilities such as air bases. Become a target in the event of war.

The Air Force said that once road training was completed, forces active in operations such as the 335th Wing were part of an effort to further refine ACE capabilities, with the aim of improving the operational capabilities of Air Force soldiers. Declared. From a difficult place with limited infrastructure and staff.

“This proof of concept proves that we can land on any freeway and continue the operation,” said John Renner, a pilot with 354 Combat Squadron who landed one of the A-10s during the operation. . said the captain. “The A-10 allows you to land in more places to get fuel, weapons and other weapons, so you can use it anytime, anywhere. This allows your enemies to move much faster and target yourself.You can escape using the built bases as much as you can.

The aircraft's fuselage is built around the Gatling gun GAU-8A, which fires armor-piercing shells at a rate of 3,900 rounds per minute.

The aircraft’s fuselage is built around the Gatling gun GAU-8A, which fires armor-piercing shells at a rate of 3,900 rounds per minute.

In addition to the gun, the A-10 can carry a variety of air-to-ground munitions to support its close air support role.

In addition to the gun, the A-10 can carry a variety of air-to-ground munitions to support its close air support role.

Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II

Introduced: 1977

Function: Close air support

Engine: TF34-GE-100 twin turbojet engine

Maximum speed: 420 MPH

Weapons: 30 mm GAU-8 / A Gatling Auto Cannon, 500lb Mk-82 Bomb, 2000lb Mk-84 Bomb, Ignition Cluster Bomb, Mine Removal ammunition, AGM-65 Maverick Missile, Unguided and Laser Guided 2.75 inch Rocket, ECM Jammer, AIM-9 Sidewinder Missile

Unit price: $ 9.8 million

Active inventory: 281

Source: US Air Force

“This is a small step towards increased confidence in operations under difficult conditions,” said Lt. Col. Gary Grojek, commander of 354 Combat Squadron. “We are increasing the number of areas we can operate to generate and deliver offensive air power by handling dirt and paved runways. Accelerating change means moving forward in order to prepare. To seize every opportunity to do.

“We are ready to move into the incredible range and are ready to generate and deliver offensive air power from thousands of locations around the world,” he added. “In doing so, we will continue to be lighter, faster, more mobile and more flexible. “

Launched in 1977, the A-10 was designed as a ground attack aircraft dedicated to the height of the Cold War.

Its primary role is to support ground troops with close air support, which has the special ability to destroy tanks and other armored vehicles.

The aircraft’s heavily armored airframe is built around a Gatling GAU-8 cannon, which is roughly the same size as the Volkswagen Beetle, and fires depleted uranium armor-piercing shells at a rate of 3,900 strokes per minute.

It’s ruggedly designed, powered by twin rear-suspended TF34-GE-100 turbofan engines, and has short take-off and landing capabilities, making it ideal for Wednesday road operations.

The latest variants of the A-10C in use today feature protective functions such as missile launch warning systems and electronic countermeasures to block incoming guided missiles.

The A-10 has a well-known service reputation, but little is known about the C-146A Wolfhound. The role of the C-146A Wolfhound is often hidden in secrecy.

It is a modified civilian Dornier 328 commuter plane, which the Air Force says is intended to transport cargo and small crews that support the command infrastructure.

It has the special ability to land on imperfect or rough airfields, making it ideal for harsh conditions.

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