A mini-documentary was posted on YouTube, which was previously held from the general public viewing, shows the United States Air Force, A-10 Thunderbolt, or as airmen have called it, the A-10 Warthog, in action during the 2014 war in Afghanistan and features interviews of the men who flew the plane in those missions to provide ground support for American and allied troops.

The documentary video was made public on December 31, 2017, by a Facebook page named, “Air Force amn/nco/snco”, well-liked by Air Force veterans and personal. The page has no connection to the United States Air Force or the Department of Defense, but the group pursued the release of the video through an FOIA request and although the Air Force has not responded to their request, somehow the video not only got posted on their Facebook page but also on YouTube.

Documentary preview

The A-10 pilots that were questioned for the mini-documentary stated that this plane is a sight to be seen and that the A-10 can not only takeout and destroy enemy tanks in mass numbers, but that the A-10 can shadow a lone-moving target and destroy it with extreme precision. An A-10 Air Force pilot, who like the rest of the pilots in the documentary, wish to be named by their call-signs/ pseudonyms only, "Geronimo", stated that no gun in the world can match the A-10’s hydraulically focused seven-barrel Gatlin-gun, with its extreme devastation. The A-10, which may come as a surprise to many, main mission is to provide aerial support cover for ground troops, not seek out and track enemy targets.

The future of the A-10 Thunderbolt program

As to the future of the A-10, Air Force officials have stated numerous times that they have no plans to mothball the Warthog and plan to keep the plane in service indefinitely although it has been speculated that Air Force officials mean in the “foreseeable future”, but U.S. forces on the ground hope it stays longer as this plane does what it needs to do in helping them defeat present and future enemies because there is no other warplane like it and of what it can do.

In Sept. of 2017, Gen. Pawlikowski, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, informed Defense News that if the present A-10 fleet does not receive upgrades to its wings before the lifespan of those wings runs out, some A-10 squadrons may have to have to cease to exist. Nonetheless, Congress has continued pressure on the Air Force to keep the Warthog flying as long as it can to help provide much need support for the troops in the battlefield.

It is unknown as to why the A-10 footage was considered to be classified by the Department of Defense and the Air Force as nothing in the footage shows anything that is classified and although the FOIA request hasn't been granted at this time, it is now public to see why the A-10 is still needed in America's defense arsenal.