Even as they are trying to kill it, the A-10 Warthog deployed for combat service in Iraq:
The low- and slow-flying A-10 Warthog jet is back in the Middle East—seven years after the attack planes withdrew.
The prospect of A-10s joining the war against Islamic State was subject to rumors in September, when elements of the Indiana Air National Guard’s 122nd Fighter Wing—which flies the twin-engine A-10—deployed to Southwest Asia.
While it’s not clear whether the Indiana A-10s have carried out any strikes against Islamic State yet … they surely will soon. The Warthogs’ mission is to provide close-air support to Iraqi army and police and Kurdish Peshmerga troops fighting on the ground.
An Air Force spokesman confirmed to Air Force magazine that the A-10s “will only be supporting military requirements in the Gulf region, including but not limited to, Operation Inherent Resolve.”
Inherent Resolve is the Pentagon’s code name for air strikes and other U.S.-led efforts targeting Islamic State.
This is not a surprise.
The demands of the tactical situation on the ground require an aircraft like the A-10, but the Air Force has been indifferent to the tactical situation on the ground since before it was an independent service (Bill Mauldin notes this in his memoir The Brass Ring, which covers his experiences in WWII).
Considering the level of dysfunctionalality in the Pentagon, the fact that the US Air Force is probably the most dysfunctional service truly scary.