First A-10 sortie for 75 EFS generated at Al Dhafra AB

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt Alexandra Smith
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing

AL DHAFRA AIR BASE, United Arab Emirates -- Less than a week after the first aircraft arriving, the 75th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and 75th Expeditionary Fighter Generation Squadron have successfully launched their first flying mission at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, April 6, 2023.

Spirits of the pilots and maintainers were high at the prospect of starting missions ahead of schedule. Airman First Class Mayson Browning, 75th Expeditionary Fighter Generation crew chief, was able to prepare one of the two A-10 Thunderbolt II jets for takeoff. 

“We’ve got a great group; we’ve got great leadership. The timeline to get here was short, but I’ve never seen so much camaraderie, so much drive to be here,” said Browning. “We love being here and doing our job.”

The training mission was the first flown by an A-10 Thunderbolt II assigned to the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing and highlights the 380th AEW relationship with their UAE service member counterparts who share the airspace and runway around Al Dhafra AB. 

“What we do here is not any different than what we do at home. This is what we’ve trained for over the last 10 months; we’ve been training for this moment and we’re executing at this point,” said Maj. Tyler Gibson, 75th EFGS commander, “Our folks are organized, trained and equipped, and we’re in execution mode at this point. SHARKS! ATTACK!”

The A-10 Thunderbolt II brings a new close air support capability which enhances the lethality and readiness within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
Since its creation in 1975, the A-10 has provided air support to ground troops, destroying adversary forces and infrastructure as the first aircraft designed specifically for close air support. The deployment of the A-10 offers the opportunity for U.S. Air Forces Central Command (AFCENT) to experiment with close air support capabilities in order to achieve the most robust, diverse force possible.

Brig. Gen. David R. Lopez, 380th AEW commander, said regarding the swift generation of the mission, “With the A-10 mission move to Al Dhafra AB, the operations and maintenance teams will be mastering rapid aircraft generation and sortie execution in different environments. The A-10s will practice agile combat employment with multi-capable airmen from forward operating locations, and support active operations and partner nation integration. The team has successfully integrated into the 380 AEW’s operations—we can’t wait to see all that they accomplish over the rest of their deployment.”