On the 2nd of October 2015, 5 A-10Cs from the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron arrived at Spangdahlem Airbase in Germany.
The A-10s assigned to the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron are in Germany to conduct training as part of their Theater Security Package mission in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
Operation Atlantic Resolve are ongoing efforts in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, namely the War in Donbass. All U.S. efforts in support of NATO fall under the umbrella of Operation Atlantic Resolve. The U.S. took several immediate steps to demonstrate solidarity with NATO, such as augmenting the air, ground and naval presence in the region, and enhancing previously scheduled exercises. The U.S. is taking measures to enhance NATO military plans and defense capabilities and remains committed to maintaining a persistent presence in Eastern Europe.
Spangdahlem Air Base (IATA:SPM, ICAO: ETAD, former code EDAD) is a United States Air Force base constructed between 1951 and 1953 and located near the small German town of Spangdahlem, approximately 30 km NNE of the city of Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate. Spangdahlem is home of the 52d Fighter Wing, which maintains, deploys and employs Lockheed Martin Block 50 F-16CJ. In total, 4,800 military personnel, 840 German nationals and 200 US contractors are working at the base.
In the evening of 28 August 2015 a flight of four F-22 Raptors from the Tyndall based 95th Fighter Squadron arrived at Spangdahlem Airbase in Germany for what will be the F-22s first training deployment in Europe.
The Raptors will train with U.S. services and allied air forces through mid-September. This deployment is part of European Reassurance Initiative, which saw U.S. based A-10s, F-16s and F-15s deploy to Europe in order to train with allies. Obviously, this is also a show of force against the Russian aggression in Eastern Europe (even though this is not said with so many words).
Earlier on, a 60th AMW C-17 Globemaster III arrived with the 60 airmen and associated equipment who will support this deployment. During the coming weeks, the Raptors will combat air training will be performed with F-16s and F15s, in order to see how this 5th generation aircraft performs in the European Theatre and if all the infrastructure is suited as well.
“This deployment advances our airpower evolution and demonstrates our resolve and commitment to European safety and security.” said General Frank Gorenc, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander.
It is not yet know which other airbases will be visited during this deployment, but there are rumours about Lakenheath and Eastern Europe. Time will tell…..
A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft with the callsign Rocky2, assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, crashed Aug. 11, 2015, at approximately 9:38 a.m. near Engelmannsreuth in the county of Bayreuth, Germany. The accident happened during a training flight at U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria in Grafenwoehr, Bavaria, Germany.
The aircraft did not have any live ordnance loaded, only four 25 pound practice bombs were carried. The cause of the accident is currently under investigation.
Some action pictures of A-10 Thunderbolt IIs at the Nordhorn Air to Ground Range. The Nordhorn Range is a military aviation bombing and gunnery range to the east of nearby Nordhorn, in Lower Saxony, Germany. This is one of the few gunnery ranges in Western-Europe where A-10 pilots can use the mighty 30mm GAU-8 Avenger cannon.
These A-10’s from the 355th Fighter Wing were at the time deployed to Spangdahlem Airbase for the US Airforce’s Theatre Security Package. This was a response to Russia’s agressions towards Ukraine.
After a couple of weeks in Germany the A-10’s moved further east to have exercises with other NATO countries.