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A-10s AT SELFRIDGE MAY BE VICTIM OF PENTAGON CUTS
Macomb Daily ^ | February 1, 2012 | Chad Selweski

Posted on 02/02/2012 3:17:04 AM PST by equaviator

Reports indicate the 107th squadron will be eliminated

Government officials at all levels received a shock this week when it was reported that the fighter squadron that flies A-10 aircraft out of Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township may be eliminated under the new, downsized Pentagon budget.

If the reduction receives congressional approval, it would apparently end the Air National Guard’s 107th Fighter Squadron, which consists of 630 military personnel, 250 of whom are full-time airmen. Most are pilots and maintenance mechanics.

The proposed Defense Department budget for fiscal year 2013, which sets the stage for a decade-long $500 billion cut in spending, would reportedly eliminate five A-10 squadrons across the nation.

The news comes just less than three years after the A-10s made their home at Selfridge following a major reshuffling of military installations under the 2005 Pentagon base-closings process.

Capt. Penelope Carroll, a Selfridge spokeswoman, said that the base has received no confirmation of the plan to end the squadron and probably will not know anything more until the Obama administration’s proposed 2013 federal budget is published on Feb. 13.

“People are making deductions based on what the Air Force’s new approach is … and the A-10 is a mission they’re (eventually) phasing out,” Carroll said.

Though the fate of the A-10s has not been reported by major news organizations, three websites that specialize in military news have reported that one active-duty, one Reserve and three National Guard A-10 units will be chopped. One congressional staffer told The Macomb Daily that he has been informed that the extinction of the Selfridge A-10s is a “done deal.”

After hearing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last week outline planned structural changes throughout the military, including major cutbacks for the Air Force, Selfridge personnel realized that the A-10’s days may be numbered.

“Changes are occurring in our military, and that’s probably going to affect us,” Carroll said. “We’re bracing ourselves.”

U.S. Rep. Candice Miller and defense experts on the staff of Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, could not be reached for comment.

The A-10 Thunderbolts, known for the distinctive whistling sound of their jet engines, have long been considered an ugly -- though effective -- airplane and they are affectionately known as the “warthogs” by Air Force personnel.

Under the last base closings process, Selfridge lost some personnel and eventually shut down or demolished several buildings. F-16 fighter jets at the base, which created their trademark roar over the Mount Clemens area for two decades, were moved out. Twenty-four A-10s were moved in, with some transferred from the Battle Creek National Guard installation. And a large unit that operated C-130 cargo aircraft was shifted to Florida.

The 127th Wing’s main mission now is flying KC-135 mid-air refueling tankers that have played a role in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and in the recent NATO air support mission in Libya.

Military.com and the military/aerospace blog at the Ft. Worth Star Telegram in Texas both reported that five A-10 squadrons, including the Selfridge contingent, would be sacrificed under the Pentagon budget. Pilots from those units could be reassigned to new squadrons, though the 10-year plan calls for a reduction of 10,000 airmen.

The Air Force Times also published an online report on the decommissioning of A-10s, indicating that most of the aircraft will be parked in the Arizona desert and that Air Force brass “hope that it's not called on any time soon to provide much close air support to grunts on the ground.”

The plane is designed to fly slow and low and provide air bombardments to assist ground troops. In the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the A-10 played a valuable role as the tank-killer in the skies. In Afghanistan, the aircraft has distinguished itself as a warhorse that Taliban fighters dread.

But the Air Force wants to replace aging aircraft with the new F-35 fighter, which can offer protection to ground troops, like the A-10, but can also engage in air combat. However, the design and production of the new plan has experienced problems in the past and Panetta has again delayed the fighter jet. Critics say the F-35 can only supply ground support from altitudes much higher than the A-10.

Levin has staunchly defended the budget laid out by Panetta and on Tuesday he sharply rebuked Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for claiming the new plan shows President Obama will hollow out the U.S. armed forces.

The senator noted that the budget proposal is the product of an 8-month strategy review on reshaping and shrinking the military as the wars wind down in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“He wants to attack the president as being weak on defense,” said Levin, a Michigan Democrat. “The problem with his position is it runs headlong into the uniformed leaders, uniformed military leaders of this country, who say this is their budget.”

Levin’s staff said on Wednesday that they could not confirm that the Selfridge squadron is targeted for elimination.

Losing the 107th Fighter Squadron could deal a blow to Macomb County officials’ new emphasis on Macomb as the Midwest’s center of the defense industry. The county boasts of the Sterling Heights-Warren defense corridor, including the Army Tank-Automotive complex. Selfridge, the largest military facility in Michigan, is home to all five branches of the U.S. military.

The 127th Wing of the Air National Guard, which oversees the lakefront base, would still consist of about 1,100 personnel if the manpower of the 107th is put in a “stand down” position. It has also taken on new missions in recent years, with the addition of aircraft, naval vessels and personnel from the Department of Homeland Security and the Border Patrol.


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: a10; aerospace
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1 posted on 02/02/2012 3:17:08 AM PST by equaviator
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To: equaviator

If the Air Force doesn’t want A-10s, the Marines would be delighted to have them.


2 posted on 02/02/2012 3:26:05 AM PST by null and void (Day 1109 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: null and void

Exactly!

The Air Force fighter jocks have been trying to get rid of the A-10 for decades. Why not let another service who values their capabilities have them?

Or will they just use a bulldozer blade to break the fuselage like they did the P-51’s, etc. at the end of WWII?


3 posted on 02/02/2012 3:31:16 AM PST by The Working Man (The mantra for BO's reign...."No Child Left a Dime")
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To: equaviator

The A-10, a system that actually works and far exceeds it expectations.
Soooo, get rid if it.
What a shit load of dumbasses we have in gub mint today.


4 posted on 02/02/2012 3:36:10 AM PST by Joe Boucher ((FUBO) Hey Mitt, F-you too pal)
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To: The Working Man

I’m sure whatever solution the Obama administration comes up with will do the most harm at the highest cost.


5 posted on 02/02/2012 3:40:23 AM PST by null and void (Day 1109 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: Joe Boucher

Very kind of you to assume stupidity where evil would fit the data just as well.


6 posted on 02/02/2012 3:42:04 AM PST by null and void (Day 1109 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: null and void

I assume stupidity because military brass always want the newest latest over priced military hardware.


7 posted on 02/02/2012 3:53:36 AM PST by Joe Boucher ((FUBO) Hey Mitt, F-you too pal)
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To: equaviator

[known for the distinctive whistling sound of their jet engines]

I suspect they are more remembered for their Gatling burp.


8 posted on 02/02/2012 3:55:21 AM PST by DaxtonBrown (http://www.futurnamics.com/reid.php)
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To: equaviator

I don’t believe the F-35 can do what the A-10 can do. Those are two different planes with two different purposes.


9 posted on 02/02/2012 4:04:20 AM PST by caver (Obama: Home of the Whopper)
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To: null and void

It doesn’t say they are being destroyed, it says they are closing the base, so they will move the planes to another area. There are no plans that I have heard of to do away with the A-10.


10 posted on 02/02/2012 4:14:54 AM PST by stockpirate (Romney, Ann Coulter & our ruling republican SOCIALISTelites, are Big Government socialists,)
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To: caver

I doubt the F-35 can absorb the damage that the A-10 can. The Warthog is the best at what it was designed to do - support the infantry, close to the ground. If the brass hats are concerned about the possibility of any air to air, that is the purpose of tasking a CAP to the strike package.


11 posted on 02/02/2012 4:25:23 AM PST by Fred Hayek (FUBO, the No Talent Pop Star pResident.)
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To: equaviator
For scale.


12 posted on 02/02/2012 4:32:32 AM PST by ILS21R (Never give up.)
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To: caver

you are correct, and I believe that the close air support role is going to be filled by the Super Tucano.... you can get 30 or 40 copies of this for the price of just 1 f-35.. and it is a battle proven platform... except that the fighter jocks may not want to fly a turboprop, but that is an ego problem, not a practicality problem


13 posted on 02/02/2012 4:34:26 AM PST by joe fonebone (Project Gunwalker, this will make watergate look like the warm up band......)
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To: ILS21R

Opps...sorry about that. Anyway it was a photo of the A-10 gun next to a VW Beetle. An impressive shot (pardon the pun).


14 posted on 02/02/2012 4:39:33 AM PST by ILS21R (Never give up.)
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To: equaviator

Damn, I love those planes! Leanest, meanest, war-machine-breaking fighting tool ever devised.


15 posted on 02/02/2012 4:47:49 AM PST by Migraine (Diversity is great; until it happens to YOU.)
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To: equaviator
The Air Force has always despised the Close Air Support mission and done all it could to avoid it. The A-10 was a case of them being dragged unwillingly to the antitank mission back when the Soviets were facing us across the Fulda Gap.

The leadership of the Air Force has always espoused the theory that attacking "strategic targets" behind the enemy lines had a better payoff than being slaved to the despised grunts at the front line. Imagine how much better things would have gone at Omaha Beach at Normandy if the troops there had had good CAS?

But I digress; because of the institutional revulsion within the Air Force for CAS, their leadership has always pushed to get rid of the A-10 and getting A-10s was a mixed blessing. Because there was so little emphasis, A-10 pilots occasionally skipped the classes on identifying our or allied armor and there were some murderous incidents where they attacked and destroyed our own vehicles and killed our troops.

The army really needs to get its own CAS and let the Air Force go do something else.

16 posted on 02/02/2012 4:50:35 AM PST by Chainmail
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To: equaviator

Miping for a warthog?


17 posted on 02/02/2012 5:31:57 AM PST by magslinger (Who cares if they are"electable" if they are going to govern like Democrats? -noprogs)
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To: equaviator

What bothers me is that it’s the not just the A-10’s that would be going away at SANGB but the 107th FS itself.


18 posted on 02/02/2012 5:53:21 AM PST by equaviator ( "There's a (datum) plane on the horizon coming in...see it?")
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To: equaviator

19 posted on 02/02/2012 5:58:02 AM PST by equaviator ( "There's a (datum) plane on the horizon coming in...see it?")
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To: Joe Boucher
There are multiple reasons why the Air Farce (correct spelling by the way) wants to get rid of the A-10, AGAIN!

That's right folks, AGAIN. If it hadn't been for Operation DESERT STORM the AF would have sent the A-10s to the bone yards and smelters by the mid 1990s. Why - to pay the F-22 bills. The manpower and fiscal costs of developing the F-22 were massive and the only way the AF could afford their latest fighter was to shut down other programs.

And then came DESERT STORM. There was a strong rumor going around that the serving Chief of Staff USAF told Gen Swarzkorf that he would be using the F-16 ground attack variant instead of the A-10s. That rumor says a phone call was made to Washington and the AF fighter general was removed from office shortly there after.

Why does my AF want to get of the A-10?

First cause - the Army likes it. The fighter general dominated AF is still, after 65 years, terrified of being reabsorbed by the Army.

Second cause - they view it as a money source for the F-35; a program that is very late, way over cost, and will never be built to the number of A-10s currently in service.

Third cause - the A-10 has actually fulfilled its mission statements when its replacements haven't. Sorry but a four hard point, single engine ground attack aircraft with extremely limited time-ON-target doesn't cut it anymore.

Fourth cause - it just isn't sexy enough. It doesn't fly faster than the speed of sound, it doesn't make a lot of noise, it doesn't match the pictures drawn by young boys when they draw pictures of jet fighters, and how can A-10 pilots ever match the 6'2”, eyes of blue, perfect teeth, square jawed image of the fighter pilot recruiting poster?

I would dearly love to see the Thunderbgirds put on a show flying the A-10. It might not be noisy enough, but it would show everyone what type of aircraft is truly needed to fight today's irregular war.

20 posted on 02/02/2012 5:59:35 AM PST by Nip (TANSTAAFL and BOHICA)
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To: null and void
As others noted in this thread, most AF hate the A-10 and would love to pawn it off on the Army and/or Marines. However, the receiving service branch also wants the maintenance, force structure, arming and refueling support elements with the equipment, the AF will not give that resource up.

This way the AF can get rid of that hated CAS mission and keep the force/support structure for other areas.

But Kudos the A-10 pilots, they understood it takes the total military to win and willingly supported the ground pounder.

21 posted on 02/02/2012 6:04:08 AM PST by where's_the_Outrage?
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To: Nip

” Retired USAF Officer with 20 years service “.
Good job sir and Thanks.
Guess you know your bid ness.


22 posted on 02/02/2012 6:49:07 AM PST by Joe Boucher ((FUBO) Hey Mitt, F-you too pal)
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To: where's_the_Outrage?

Some years ago, I was on leave in Panama, and found myself at the Howard AFB O Club. I learned that it is not a good idea to engage in some serious drinking with Warthog pilots. Those guys are a breed apart.


23 posted on 02/02/2012 6:56:32 AM PST by Ax ( He's the only guy I ever knew that was trampled in a giraffe stampede.)
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To: equaviator

More on the story at:

http://www.military.com/news/article/af-eyes-a10s-guard-reserve-in-planned-closures.html


24 posted on 02/02/2012 6:59:19 AM PST by equaviator ( "There's a (datum) plane on the horizon coming in...see it?")
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To: Joe Boucher

Ah. I assumed you were talking about their government masters.


25 posted on 02/02/2012 7:01:58 AM PST by null and void (Day 1109 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: equaviator
But the Air Force wants to replace aging aircraft with the new F-35 fighter

Does the F-35 have a Gatlin gun that spews milk container sized bullets?? No! Does the F-35 have a titanium bathtub protecting the pilot?? No! Does the F-35 have the ability to loiter over the battlefield?? No! Can a F-35 take hits from 23 or 30 mm cannons and keep pounding the enemy and come back home?? No! Pathetic a military history buff knows more that the Air Force brass.

26 posted on 02/02/2012 7:15:34 AM PST by C19fan
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To: equaviator; grellis

Guess we don’t need A-10s in Michigan, not like the Canadians will be coming across Lake St. Clair. /s


27 posted on 02/02/2012 7:24:26 AM PST by Springman (Rest In Peace YaYa123 and Bahbah.)
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To: caver
I don’t believe the F-35 can do what the A-10 can do. Those are two different planes with two different purposes.

I don't believe any other aircraft can do what the A-10 can do...


28 posted on 02/02/2012 7:24:28 AM PST by null and void (Day 1109 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: Ax
“Some years ago, I was on leave in Panama, and found myself at the Howard AFB O Club. I learned that it is not a good idea to engage in some serious drinking with Warthog pilots. Those guys are a breed apart.”

Some years before that a certain LT Mulholland (USA, 3/5 INF) Airborne shuffled across that bar (Howard AFB) and stuck his head through the ceiling creating “Mulholland's Hole.” As a COL several of his soldiers had direct benefit from these A-10s during Operational Anaconda in OEF. Believe he has 3 stars now.

29 posted on 02/02/2012 7:50:35 AM PST by where's_the_Outrage?
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To: equaviator

A-10: Ugly as sin, tough as nails, very effective. One of my favorites!


30 posted on 02/02/2012 7:56:02 AM PST by JimRed (Excising a cancer before it kills us waters the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: Ax
” I learned that it is not a good idea to engage in some serious drinking with Warthog pilots. Those guys are a breed apart.”

D E A D B U G!!!!!!!

I should have added that to the previous post.

31 posted on 02/02/2012 7:57:17 AM PST by where's_the_Outrage?
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To: Springman
Bring back the Six Pack!
32 posted on 02/02/2012 8:58:50 AM PST by equaviator ( "There's a (datum) plane on the horizon coming in...see it?")
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To: Springman
Bring back the Six Pack!
33 posted on 02/02/2012 9:01:23 AM PST by equaviator ( "There's a (datum) plane on the horizon coming in...see it?")
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To: null and void

No they wouldn’t. The Corps didn’t want the A-10 when they were slated to receive them after Desert Storm and they still don’t want them now.


34 posted on 02/02/2012 9:07:13 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: Fred Hayek
The Warthog is the best at what it was designed to do - support the infantry, close to the ground.

You could attempt to make that argument if you included the caveat - in a low-threat environment.

35 posted on 02/02/2012 9:12:44 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: joe fonebone

The Super Tucano is not being procured for the Air Force. It is being procured for our “allies”.


36 posted on 02/02/2012 9:15:04 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: caver
I don’t believe the F-35 can do what the A-10 can do. Those are two different planes with two different purposes.

The A-10 carries 1150 bullets for its GAU-8 30mm gun. The F-35 carries just over 180 bullets. What weapons will the F-35 use for CAS when there are bad guys "just across the road" from our guys?

37 posted on 02/02/2012 9:16:27 AM PST by saminfl
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To: Nip

As confirmed by the Congressional record, prior to Desert Storm, A-10s were slated to be dispersed to the Marine Corps and Army.


38 posted on 02/02/2012 9:28:01 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: saminfl

I see the F-35 has a 25 mm cannon. I figured it had a 20 mm like the F-16


39 posted on 02/02/2012 9:36:31 AM PST by caver (Obama: Home of the Whopper)
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To: null and void

The Warthog can take a licking and keep on ticking!


40 posted on 02/02/2012 9:39:59 AM PST by caver (Obama: Home of the Whopper)
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To: Springman; sergeantdave; cyclotic; netmilsmom; RatsDawg; PGalt; FreedomHammer; queenkathy; ...
MICHIGAN PING LIST

Please freepmail me if you wish to be added or dropped from the mitten ping.

41 posted on 02/02/2012 12:14:44 PM PST by grellis (I am Jill's overwhelming sense of disgust.)
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To: null and void; Nip
I believe the picture in the upper left is an A-10 ambushed in desert storm. Shot to hell lost part of the tail and wing and still landed. Ground crew gave a standing ovation. The kicker is it was flown by a chick. God bless her.

If floats like a butterfly and stings like a tank. A 12’ 30 MM cannon does the job. It is literally a tank killing gun they built a plane around. Talk about ordinance envy.

42 posted on 02/02/2012 12:40:38 PM PST by 70th Division (I love my country but fear my government!)
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To: 70th Division
The kicker is it was flown by a chick.

Not just any chick, but Killer Chick, Kim Campbell, the daughter of our mayor. Beside the damage in the photo, she had no hydraulics. This was the first recorded hydraulics free A-10 landing.

We're kinda proud of her...

It is literally a tank killing gun they built a plane around.

More than that, it was designed to bring the pilot back, no matter what.

43 posted on 02/02/2012 1:20:39 PM PST by null and void (Day 1109 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: caver
"The Warthog can take a licking and keep on ticking!"

Shouldn't that be:

"The Warthog can take a licking and keep on kicking (ass, that is)!"

44 posted on 02/02/2012 2:42:07 PM PST by Wonder Warthog
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Thus the rest of my post - about the CAP. There are assets best suited for the CAP (Combat Air Patrol), such as the F-16, F-15, F-22. There are assets tasked with the SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses, the Wild Weasel missions), if necessary. And then there are the assets tasked with the main part of the strike package. In the case of the battlefield support mission that would be the Warthog. An entire book can be written on strike package planning, and no doubt one has likely been published by Air University (Maxwell AFB).


45 posted on 02/02/2012 4:12:33 PM PST by Fred Hayek (FUBO, the No Talent Pop Star pResident.)
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To: equaviator


46 posted on 02/02/2012 5:11:38 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Wonder Warthog

“The Warthog can take a licking and keep on kicking (ass, that is)!”

I like that better!


47 posted on 02/03/2012 4:12:21 AM PST by caver (Obama: Home of the Whopper)
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To: null and void
Very kind of you to assume stupidity where evil would fit the data just as well.

Napoleon's dictum, which is trenchant.

48 posted on 02/03/2012 5:27:22 AM PST by jammer
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To: equaviator
Bummer! My agency uses their small arms range, and it is truly impressive to watch those A 10's do touch and goes when we have some down time. Also, they've been trying to kill Selfridge for years now. Looks like they're still trying.

CC

49 posted on 02/04/2012 5:02:38 AM PST by Celtic Conservative (Wisdom comes from experience. Experience comes from a lack of wisdom.)
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To: equaviator
The A-10 Thunderbolts, known for the distinctive whistling sound of their jet engines,

Really? That's what they are "known" for? I always thought they were known for the 7 barrel 30mm gatling gun that vaporizes tanks.

50 posted on 02/04/2012 5:50:51 AM PST by hattend (If I wanted you dead, you'd be dead. - Cameron Connor)
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