While the A-10 Debate rages on Capitol Hill and down the long corridors of the Pentagon, the mighty Hawg continues to demonstrate why it is one of the most in-demand assets aerial warfare has ever known.
In this particular piece, we get to go inside the cockpit as you know we love to do, and we also hear from some of the men who fly this magnificent aircraft. It’s not just about hearing their story, and not even about their hearts and why they love their aircraft and their mission as much as they do.
It’s about the special bond they have with the Boots on the Ground. As it alludes to in the video, if you were to take a Grunt and put him in the cockpit of an airplane, he’d be a Hawg Driver. The biggest risk of the A-10 retiring is not the loss of The Gun, but the expertise that can only be found in this specific community of pilots. They have a special culture unto themselves.
They are some of the most resilient, agile-minded pilots to be found anywhere in tactical aviation, especially adept at solving difficult problems in one of the most complex environments imaginable. What gives them that edge? Well, if your jet had been on the chopping block as many times as theirs has–and survived, you’d probably be really darn good at being survivable and maximizing the capabilities you bring to the fight, too!
Thanks to the professionals in a Combat Camera unit, we have the opportunity to hear not just from the A-10 pilots themselves, but also from the soldiers and JTACs they protect. It’s fast and its furious, air/land integration at danger close distances. You’ll hear the bullets whizzing by, a stark reminder that sometimes the difference between living and dying is mere inches.
Take a few moments to ride along on this one. You’ll be really glad you did.