A U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II departs after receiving fuel from a 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker during a flight in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, July 6, 2017. The A-10 employs a wide variety of conventional munitions in support of OIR and the destruction of ISIS. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor T. McBride)
Note: Pictured is an A-10C of the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, 355th Fighter Wing (Air Combat Command), Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, currently combat-deployed to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Visible combat loadout:
Station 1: GBU-12 laser-guided bomb
Station 2: LAU-131 rocket pod, probably fully loaded with APKWS laser-guided rockets
Station 3: AGM-65 Maverick
Station 4: empty
Station 5: empty
Station 6: empty
Station 7: GBU-31 JDAM
Station 8: GBU-54 laser-guided JDAM
Station 9: GBU-12 laser-guided bomb
Station 10: AN/AAQ-28 LITENING AT targeting pod
Station 11: Two AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles on a Dual Rail Adapter (DRA)
Here’s one more favorite from “Overview” - the world’s largest aircraft storage and preservation facility in Tucson, Arizona, USA. The boneyard, located on the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, contains more than 4,400 retired American military and government aircraft.
A U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II receives fuel from a 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker during a flight in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, July 6, 2017. The A-10’s GAU-8/A cannon is capable of firing precision rounds to destroy a variety of targets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor T. McBride)
Note: Pictured is A-10C 81-0965 of the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, 355th Fighter Wing (Air Combat Command), Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, currently combat-deployed to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Please also note the OIR mission markings on the left forward fuselage.
An F-22 Raptor performs a heritage flight during the 2017 Heritage Flight Training Course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb. 9, 2017. The program was established in 1997, allowing certified civilian pilots and Air Force pilots to perform flights together. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kimberly Nagle)
Sunrise from the cockpit of a P-3 Orion is kinda hard to beat!
Sailors belonging to the “Golden Eagles” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 9 watch the sunrise on aircraft 916, a P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, during its last flight before getting dropped off at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (309 AMARG) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. 309 AMARG is responsible for the storage and maintenance of aircraft for future redeployment, parts, or proper disposal following retirement by the military. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amber Porter/released)
The legendary A-10 looks like it’s here to stay after being upgraded by the Air Force
Air Force maintainers at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona have outfitted the Warthog with an upgrade for combat search and rescue missions (CSAR). According to the Air Force, an “urgent operational need arose” for increased CSAR capabilities in August 2016. …….now 19 A-10s sport the upgrade…..
An Airman assigned to 355th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., prepares an A-10 Thunderbolt II to participate in Green Flag 17-01 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Oct. 4, 2016. During exercise execution, Green Flag staff direct, monitor and instruct visiting units in the conduct of air operations in support of ground forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kevin Tanenbaum/Released)
Tactical air control party members with the 147th Air Support Operations Squadron, 147th Reconnaissance Wing, pose as a 357th Fighter Squadron A-10 Warthog from Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, flies overhead. The battlefield airmen traveled to the desert range in Gila Bend for a weeklong simulated deployment with their Czech partners.
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Alicia Lacy, 12 APR 2016.)
When the D-21B flew, it was programmed to self-destruct at the end of its mission. If you see a whole, unwrecked D-21 in a museum, that means it never flew. 38 drones were built in total. 21 were launched and destroyed. This left a fleet of 17 remaining aircraft. After the program was cancelled on July 23, 1971, this particular drone, article 525, was stored with the entire surviving fleet on Norton AFB near San Bernardino, California.
In 1976, the fleet was transported to the The Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center (now called the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group) on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson, Arizona. This location is otherwise known as “The Boneyard”. Our drone was slated for destruction, but NASA came to the rescue. On June 1, 1994, four D-21B drones were loaded into Boeing C-17 aircraft and flown to NASA Dryden Flight Research Center (Now NASA Armstrong). There, NASA prepared these aircraft for display at civilian museums. This required the removal of engines which contain radioactive material. The engines were trucked back to the Boneyard for destruction and our D-21B #0525 has been on display at Blackbird Airpark in Palmdale, California since October 1994, on loan from NASA.
An A-10C Thunderbolt II rests on the flightline at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, March 13, 2015. The A-10s and Airmen are deployed out of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., as part of a Theater Security Package in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
Sailors assigned to the Golden Eagles of Patrol Squadron (VP) 9 watch the sunrise on Aircraft 916, a P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, during its last flight before retiring to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (309 AMARG) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz. 309 AMARG is responsible for the storage and maintenance of aircraft for future redeployment, parts, or proper disposal following retirement by the military.
The Tomcat was retired from the U.S. Navy’s active fleet on 22 September 2006, supplanted by the Boeing F/A-18E and F Super Hornets. Remaining F-14 aircraft in the U.S. were stored at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group “Boneyard”, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona; in 2007 the U.S. Navy announced plans to shred the remaining F-14s to prevent any components from being acquired by Iran
 A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II assigned to the 354th Fighter Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., breaks away from a dry-fire ground attack during RED FLAG-Alaska 14-1, Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, Alaska. The JPARC’s valleys and mountains provided A-10 pilots opportunities to enhance their skills in low-altitude maneuvering with target acquisition.
 A U.S. Force A-10 Thunderbolt II assigned to the 354th Fighter Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., attacks simulated ground targets while a U.S. Army forward observation team assigned to 3rd Platoon, A Troop, 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, Fort Wainwright, Alaska, provides overwatch. The Soldiers provided a tactical operations center with information on targets and terrain.
 U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew Goldsmith, forward observer assigned to 3rd Platoon, A Troop, 1st Cavalry Regiment, Fort Wainwright, Alaska, provides covering fire while his team extracts from an observation point. Goldsmith utilized uneven terrain to conceal his team from possible retaliation while they waited for a vehicle extraction.
 A U.S. Army Soldier assigned to 3rd Platoon, A Troop, 1st Cavalry Regiment, Fort Wainwright, Alaska, fires a .50-caliber machine gun at simulated targets from a Stryker armored vehicle during a simulated team extraction. The Stryker team provided covering fire while a forward observation team boarded the vehicle.
(Photos by Senior Airman Peter Reft, 22 MAY 2014.)
Today, for the last time ever, Boeing technicians integrated the wings, fuselage, nose and tail of the final C-17 Globemaster III ever to be produced. I’ll recognize this bittersweet end of production by commemorating the prototype aircraft that started it all.
Just outside the West Gate of Edwards Air Force Base, California, rests an interesting aircraft, the McDonnell Douglas YC-15. This ship, #72-1875 was the first of only two YC-15 aircraft made for the Air Force’s Advanced Medium Short Takeoff and Landing Transport program (AMST).
On August 26, 1975, this YC-15 made its first flight from the McDonnell Douglas plant at Long Beach Airport, landing at Edwards Air Force Base (where she is displayed today). She would undergo flight test at Edwards, including a competitive fly-off against the Boeing YC-14. The YC-15 was later upgraded to become the McDonnell Douglas C-17 Globemaster III and the Boeing YC-14 would never go into production. Ironically, after a merger in 1997, the C-17 would be produced under the Boeing name.
After flight test, YC-15 #72-1875 was stored by the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. She was transferred to the nearby Pima Air Museum in 1981 then went back into flying service in 1997 to fly test operations for C-17 program.
In 1998, the aircraft suffered a catastrophic engine failure and was forced to land at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California. She never flew again and was transferred up the road to her final home with the Air Force Flight Test Museum at Edwards. Her sister ship, YC-15 #72-1876 was destroyed at Davis-Monthan in 2012, making this the only existing YC-15.
Today is a sad day at the Long Beach plant that built this YC-15. C-17 production will soon stop, but the aircraft will continue to serve for decades, proudly flying in the California skies above our YC-15 prototype, and all over the world.
U.S. Air Force combat controllers from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla., perform air traffic control radio transmissions to an A-10C Thunderbolt II pilot of the 354th Fighter Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., approaching an austere landing strip during training at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., Dec. 4, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey/Released)