U.S. Air Force Maj. Zach Laird, 23rd Fighter Group chief of standards and evaluation, executes a show-of-force maneuver in an A-10C Thunderbolt II over an M109A6 Paladin howitzer at the Oro Grande Range Complex, Fort Bliss, Texas. While supporting artillery units, A-10 pilots must continuously “deconflict,” ensuring they stay out of the line of friendly-fire, while also attacking their target.
 Airmen from the 74th Fighter Squadron and the 23rd Maintenance Group speak with soldiers from Alpha Battery, 2nd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery, 1st Armored Division, about the mission and capabilities of the M109A6 Paladin howitzer during Exercise IRON STRIKE at the Oro Grande Range Complex, Fort Bliss, Texas. IRON STRIKE integrates armored units, artillery units and A-10 aircraft for realistic joint fire and close air support execution. [Bonus Paladin close-up because the quality ones are rare.]
(U.S. Air Force Photos by Airman 1st Class Ryan Callaghan, 4 DEC 2014.)