Showing posts with label close-air-support. Show all posts
Showing posts with label close-air-support. Show all posts

Sunday, March 25, 2018

ETIM in northeast Afghanistan? Hmmmm

Map of Badakhshan Province Afghanistan

In February 2018 Resolute Support pushed out some news releases and videos describing an increase in air strikes against insurgents in Badakhshan province in northeast Afghanistan. The RS HQs and DoD news releases stated that the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) was operating in the region and reportedly using some Taliban camps for training.

"U.S. Forces Strike Taliban, East Turkestan Islamic Movement Training Sites", Defense Media Activity, February 7, 2018.

"New U.S. air campaign expands to the North", Resolute Support Afghanistan, February 6, 2018.

The researchers at Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) took a closer look at the RS HQs claims of ETIM operating in Badakhshan and find the RS HQs claims about ETIM activity are slightly exaggerated.

Read more in "Tilting at Windmills: Dubious US Claims of Targeting Chinese Uyghur Militants in Badakhshan", Afghanistan Analysts Network, March 19, 2018.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Afghan Air Force (AAF) Update

AAF's  A-29s Using Guided Bombs - Almost. The A-29 Super Tucano began its first combat operations in the Afghan conflict in April 2016. The highly maneuverable aircraft is capable of flying a low altitudes and is an excellent close air support platform for the Afghan National Army (ANA). The A-29 pilots are now learning how to drop laser-guided bombs. Recently two A-29s participated in a training event to employ these very accurate munitions utilizing the on-board Forward Looking Infrared System. The A-29s were piloted by TAAC Air mentors while the back-seater (AAF member) managed the weapons system. Read more in "In another first, Afghan pilots are now dropping laser-guided bombs", Air Force Times, January 28, 2018.

UH-60s Replacing Mi-17s - A Bad Political and Operational Decision. Alexandra Gutowski, a senior military affairs analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, writes how "Blackhawks Threaten to Undermine Afghan Air Force Development", Real Clear Defense, January 29, 2018. Naturally, this is a hot issue. There are those who believe the UH-60 is a great fit for the AAF. Time will tell. Read more news about the UH-60 Black Hawk and AAF.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Air Campaign in Afghanistan a "Game Changer"?

455th AEW Plays Key Role. The 455th Air Expeditionary Wing has been playing a key role in the combined operations against Taliban revenue streams in Helmand province. A large offensive mounted by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces was enabled by air support from the U.S. to interdict and destroy drug processing laboratories and associated targets. Read "455th AEW plays key role in new Taliban offensive"DVIDS, November 24, 2017.

Air Assets Shift to Afghanistan. With the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria winding down the U.S. is shifting air power to support combat operations in Afghanistan. Read "War in Afghanistan Heats Up as Fight Against ISIS Winds Down"DoD Buzz, November 27, 2017.

Air Power in Afghanistan Increases. Airstrikes in Afghanistan are at their highest since 2010. Over 600 airstrikes took place in October 2017. The last time the numbers were this high was in November 2010 with 866 airstrikes. "US Aircraft Return to Surge-Level Operations in Afghanistan"Air Force Magazine, November 21, 2017.

Air Campaign Considered Key Approach. The U.S. is banking a lot on the use of it's air power to stem the tide of the Taliban insurgency. The new approach with looser rules of engagement is considered a 'game changer'. Read "New air campaign in Afghanistan is test for Trump strategy in America's longest war"USA Today, December 1, 2017.

$50 Million of Narcotics Destroyed in Airstrikes? General Nicholson, RS Cdr, claims that the combined ground operations and airstrikes in Helmand province destroyed over $50 million in narcotics. He claims the drug trade is the Taliban's 'financial engine'. Narcotics production doubled in 2017. (VOA, Dec 2, 2017).

AMW Graduates More Crew Members. The Afghan Special Mission Wing (SMW) has more qualified crew members for its PC-12 and Mi-17 helicopters. (DVIDS, Nov 25, 2017).

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Security News

What is Close Air Support? A recent article tells us what CAS is. Read "What Close Air Support Is . . . And Isn't!"Fighter, February 10, 2016. Learn more about CAS in Afghanistan.

US Airpower Used in January 2016 in Afghanistan. In January 2016 there were 128 weapon drops by US aircraft in Afghanistan; the most for January in two years. In Iraq and Syria there were 2,695 weapons drops by US aircraft. So where is the priority? Once again Afghanistan takes a back seat. Read "Comparing Afghanistan and Iraq/Syria", Air Force Times, February 10, 2016. See also a related news story entitled "With fewer U.S. troops in Afghanistan, pressure grows for more air strikes", Reuters, February 10, 2016.

Video - AAF. On February 11th President Ghani attended a showing of the Afghan Air Force (AAF) aircraft at Kabul airport. Resolute Support Hqs provides a one-minute long video showcasing the various aircraft posted on YouTube. Watch A Show of Strength by the Afghan National Airforce, February 12, 2016.

Predators of Jalalabad. Read about the 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron Detachment 1's mission in Afghanistan in "Jalalabad Predators provide 24/7 overwatch in Afghanistan", Khaama Press, February 8, 2016.

Shoffner on ANDSF. BG Wilson Shoffner, the deputy chief of staff for communications for NATO's Resolute Support Mission, briefed reporters via video conference from Afghanistan on Feb 11, 2016. He said that Afghan forces need to develop four capabilities to be successful - develop a readiness cycle, reduce the number of checkpoints, make leadership changes, and fill their ranks.

No big news here with this video / transcript from the General. The Afghans still have difficulties in planning tactical operations; never mind develop a readiness cycle. We taught them long ago to set up check points - big mistake on our part and a hard lesson to unlearn - because it is easier to set up a checkpoint (and collect "taxes" on civilian road traffic) than it is to take to the hills and chase the bad guys. We have known for years about the leadership problems in the Afghan police and army but we don't use our leverage (our money) to get the ministries to fire incompetent and corrupt Afghan leaders at district, provincial, kandak, brigade, corps, and national level. The filling of the ranks has always been a problem - "ghost soldiers" (and policemen) will continue to be a problem when you have bad leadership -  and desertions will continue to plague both the police and army as long as units in the remote areas are not supported by their leadership, live under terrible living conditions, are exposed to constant combat, don't receive pay, and are continually outclassed on the battlefield by the Taleban. So, once again, no big news here.

You can read the transcript or watch the video by

Video - Testimony on ANDSF. On February 12, 2016 Defense Department officials testified at a hearing on capital hill before the House Armed Services Committee on Oversight and Investigations of the status of U.S. efforts to train and assist the Afghan National Security forces. Hosted by C-SPAN, 2 plus hours).

"Work in Progress . . . " On February 12th DoD witnesses testified to a U.S. House committee on Afghanistan. A DoD News Release provides some details of the testimony. Read "DoD Officials Describe Afghan National Defense Forces As Work in Progress", DoD, February 12, 2016.

Five Challenges Seen by SIGAR. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction recently testified before the House Armed Services Committee on February 12th: 1) Drawdown of troops have impaired the ability of the U.S. to advise and mentor the ANDSF, 2) reported strength of ANDSF is questionable, 3) assessments of ANDSF capabilities and effectiveness never effective and now getting worse, 4) lack of capability to monitor Afghan govt (MoI / MoD) use of on-budget funds, 5) and is the U.S. conducting oversight of management of U.S. funds to develop the ANDSF. You can read the prepared comments at the following link:

New Pub. DoDD 5205.82, Defense Institution Building (DIB), Department of Defense Directive, January 27, 2016. Establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides direction regarding the planning, managment, and conduct of DIB by DoD; and establishes the DIB Coordination Board. Probably a good reference for those advisors working at MoI and MoD at the ministerial level.

Fighting in Sangin District . . . Again. Reports indicate that Sangin district located in the southern province of Helmand, Afghanistan is at risk of falling once again this year to the Taliban. Read more in "Sangin on verge of falling back into Afghan Taliban hands"BBC News, February 7, 2016. See also "Taliban are close to overrunning Sangin where 106 British soldiers died"The Telegraph, February 8, 2016. Some Afghan news outlets say that five security force members were killed on Saturday, Feb 13th.

Kunduz Residents Fearful. Last fall the Taliban managed to infiltrate Kunduz city and, for a short time, occupy the provincial capital. The residents of the city are worried about a Taliban return. Read more in "Kunduz Residents Live in Fear of Taliban's Return"The New York Times, February 6, 2016.

Tarin Kowt at Risk. It appears that the Afghan insurgents are getting the upper hand in many districts around the former Australian military base in Tarin Kowt. Australia forces completed their withdrawal from the Uruzgan province at the end of 2013. Insurgents have increased their freedom of movement and generally contain the ANDSF to their bases and checkpoints. With the lack of intelligence assets (ISR) and air support previously provided by the Coalition forces they Taliban now realize they can move around the terrain with impunity. Read more in "Afghan insurgents gaining control of territory around former Australian base in Tarin Kowt", ABC News (Australia), February 10, 2016.

Baghlan Province - Heavy Fighting. News reports indicate that there was heavy fighting between the ANDSF and the Taliban in central Baghlan. Residents say that the ANDSF are indescriminately shelling Pashtun homess.

Former PGov Kidnapped. Sayed Fazlullah Wahidi, the former governor for western Herat province of Afghanistan, was kidnapped in Islamabad. (ATN News, Feb 13, 2016).

US Embassy Warning. On February 9th the US Embassy in Kabul warned its citizens in Afghanistan that insurgents were planning to attack foreign guest houses in the capital city of Kabul. (Voice of America, Feb 9, 2016).

Zonal Chiefs of Police Get More Power. According to one news report the zonal police commanders will enjoy new powers. This news came during a ceremony for the newly-appointed 707 Pamir Zone police commander in Mazar-i Shariff in northern Afghanistan. The intent is to ensure increased coordination among the various security pillars in each of the country's regions. Read more in a news report by Pajhwok Afghan News, Feb 10, 2016.

Insider Threat Incident? An Afghan police officer was killed, in what might be a case of an insider attack, after firing on coalition troops near the main entrance of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries in Kabul on Tuesday. The NATO force soldiers returned fire, wounding the gunman, who later died in a hospital. (Reuters, February 10, 2016).

Uigher Militancy - Just Next Door. Although they share a very small border (the Wakhan Corridor)  the countries of Afghanistan and China share a common problem. One of insurgents. China is facing an Uighur insurgency. Read more in "Growing Uighur Militancy: Challenges for China", Eurasia Review, February 5, 2016. The Wakhan Corridor is an isolated part of Afghanistan - read more here in "What Life is Like in the Most Isolated Corridor of the World", Conde Nast Traveler, February , 2016.

Royal Gurkha Rifles to Afghanistan. The Gurkhas from 2nd Battalion are heading to Kabul, Afghanistan as part of the UK's enduring support to the Afghan government. Their mission is to protect NATO military and civilian advisors working in government ministries, as well as UK advisors based at the Afghan National Army Officer's Academy. Read "Gurkhas Prepare for Afghan Deployment", Forces TV, February 11, 2016.

Electricity - New Tactic? A shortage of electricity is the result of insurgent activity - blowing up the pylon towers that hold the transmission lines providing electricity to Kabul and other areas of Afghanistan. Read more in "More Afghan Electricity Towers Destroyed, Raising Fears of New Battle Tactic", Radio Free Europe, February 11, 2016.

Suicide Attack on ANA Bus MeS. Three Afghan soldiers died and many more were wounded after a suicide bomber attacked a bus carrying members of the Afghan National Army in Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan on Monday, Feb 8th. Read "Deadly Suicide Blast Hits Afghan Army Bus", Voice of America, February 8, 2016.

Senior Taliban Leader Dies. Mullah Rahmani, a senior member of the Taliban leadership council, has died according to a Taliban announcement on Tuesday morning. (Tolo News, Feb 9, 2016).

Dynamics of Taliban Succession. Thomas Ruttig of the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) examines what may happen when the Taliban leadership changes out. Read "The New Taleban Deputy Leaders: Is there an obvious successor to Akhtar Mansur?", AAN, February 10, 2016.

Taliban's Intel Chief Kidnapped. News reports say that the Taliban's intelligence chief and deputy was kidnapped in Quetta, Pakistan in separate incidents . (Pajhwok Afghan News, Feb 7, 2016).

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Video - A-10 Hawg Combat Footage

Film footage has been released depicting the exploits of an A-10 Fighter Squadron in Afghanistan during the fighting season of 2014. The story illustrates the essential role of the A-10 Warthog along with the Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) providing close air support to the ground troops in Afghanistan. The importance of air support to a counterinsurgency fight cannot be overstated. It appears the documentary has been created by Combat Camera airmen - probably based at Bagram Air Field. The video is about 22 minutes long and includes combat footage. It has not been officially released by the Air Force - most likely because it casts the A-10 in a very favorable light at a time that the Air Force is hoping to kill the A-10 in order to free up funds for its very disappointing and extremely expensive F-35 Lightning II. Read more in "Hawg: The Story of the A-10 and Close Air Support in Afghanistan", John Q. Public, September 4, 2015. The video is embedded in the article and also available on YouTube at this link.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

AAF Hind Gunships: Little Time Left

Mi-35 Gunships Going Away. The Pentagon doesn't want to do business with Russia anymore. This has an effect on the Afghan Air Force which depends on Russian built and maintained helicopters for its Afghan Air Force. One of these helicopters is the Russian 'flying tank' or Mi-35 Hind Attack Helicopter. These Mi-35s will probably not be flying a year from now as they are getting old and falling apart. At one time the AAF had nine Mi-35s but since then they are at between 2 and 4 that are actually flying. Many of the Hinds were cannibalized for spare parts. The U.S. has decided to provide the Afghan Air Force with the MD-530F (made by an American firm of course). The AAF will receive a total of 12 armed MD-530Fs and guns and armor will be added to five other MD-530s that are currently used to train Afghan pilots. The MD-530F is nimble and fast but it carries fewer weapons than the Hind and it doesn't have nearly as much armored protection. The MD-530F is a stop-gap measure until the A-29 Super Tucano is delivered and integrated into operations. Read "Afghanistan's Iconic Hind Gunships Won't Fly Much Longer", by Joseph Trevithick, War is Boring, April 22, 2015.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Paper - Helicopter Options for Partner Nations

RAND Corporation has published a report that could be useful to air advisors of TAAC Air who are training, advising, and assisting the Afghan Air Force. The paper, entitled "Cost-Effective Helicopter Options for Partner Nations" was published in April 2015. It is an Adobe Acrobat PDF, 67 pages long, and 4 MBs big. The authors conducted an analysis on several helicopters - both utility and attack. The Mi-17 transport helicopter currently in use by the Afghan Air Force is compared with several other helicopters of a similar class. Some of the research questions that the paper attempts to answer include:

1. What types of missions does the US want partner nations to accomplish?
2. What are the capabilities of various helicopters to execute these missions?
3. What are the most cost-effective helicopters for accomplishing these missions?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Afghan Air Force - Still Not Big Enough

General Karimi, Afghan Army Chief of Staff, says that the ANSF needs more air support - Currently there are only four Mi-35 Attack Helicopters operating (flying) in the Afghan Air Force (AAF) - two for the northern regions and two for the southern regions. The AAF recently received six MD-530 helicopters armed with weaponry but they are still in the fielding phase - not yet committed to the fight. In addition some Mi-17s, a transport helicopter not really suited to ground attack, are armed with machine guns. The fielding of the twenty A-29 Super Tucanos is still many months away. So for fire support the ANA must depend on their D-30 122mm Howitzers and the limited air support that Resolute Support headquarters can provide. One aspect of the current fighting is that the Taliban can now mass for large-scale attacks against small outposts and combat bases. In previous fighting seasons these large formations of 200 plus insurgent fighters would have been pounded by Coalition air strikes. Not so much now.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

History of Task Force Musketeer (France)

EC-665 Attack Helicopter - Tiger
(photo by Erwan de Cherisey)
Task Force Musketeer was the name of the French aviation task force in Afghanistan. French military forces have been involved in Afghanistan since 2001 and for most of that time the French ground forces were supported by French rotary wing aircraft of many different types. The French helicopters performed a wide variety of duties to include air support, MEDEVAC, personnel movement, resupply, convoy escort, and reconnaissance. Erwan de Cherisey is a guest writer for the Afghan War News Blog. He has wrote a detailed history of France's aviation support in Afghanistan entitled - Task Force Musketeer. Erwan de Cherisey has wrote numerous articles for many different publications about aviation, Afghanistan, defense and other topics. He holds a master's degree in contemporary history and travels to many conflict zones around the world to report on peacekeeping, stability, and security operations. Erwan will provide articles and book reviews to the Afghan War News Blog on an occasional basis and we are proud to have him on the writing team! Read more about Erwan de Cherisey.

View the online article about Task Force Musketeer.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

USAF JTAC Shortage

Air Force Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) Shortage. In a news report (that really isn't breaking news) the U.S. Air Force says it has a shortage of JTACs. Ummm, yes, that is something that has been painfully obvious to the U.S. Army. Years ago the Air Force (AF) decided that they would pick up the mission of providing personnel who would call in airstrikes and help coordinate close air support missions (CAS). The AF pressed to ensure that the Army's ability to call in CAS was limited; stating that the Air Force could handle the mission. But the AF never provided sufficient JTACs. This was painfully evident during the long years of the Afghan and Iraq conflicts when Special Forces teams would be stationed in remote hostile combat areas. The SF teams could not schedule air cover for operations or call in pre-planned air strikes (only emergency CAS or E-CAS); that is unless they had a USAF JTAC. But not all teams got the JTACs due to the shortage. This caused a significant amount of heartburn among SF teams that had the skills to call in airstrikes but who were ignored by the AF because they didn't have a JTAC with them. Read more on the JTAC shortage in "Air Force Sees Rising Demand for Joint Terminal Attack Controllers",, March 10, 2015.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A-10 Retirement - AF Math Doesn't Add Up

The U.S. Air Force wants to retire the A-10 Warthog. The close-air-support aircraft provides air support to ground troops, conducts ground attack against tanks, armored formations, enemy positions, enemy troops, and provides an on-scene rescue capability. The Air Force plans to retire the 300 plus A-10 Warthogs so it can afford to field the very expensive, but not quite yet capable F-35. There are many opponents to the A-10 retirement plan - and among those are the very combat troops that need the A-10s support - the Army! An Army officer has done the math and concludes that the Air Force, instead of retiring the entire fleet of A-10s, should just retire one of its six active fighters (F-15, F-16, F-22) and bombers (B-1, B-2, B-52) or end F-35 procurement. The author breaks down the math for us in "The Air Force's Argument to Retire the A-10 Warthog Doesn't Add Up. Here's Why.", Defense in Depth - Council on Foreign Relations, March 5, 2015.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A-10 Treason Patch

The A-10 Treason Bird Patch is now available for U.S. Air Force officers who wish to kiss their careers goodbye. The patch is now authorized for those officers who verbally express their support for the A-10 Warthog and who question the ability of the F-35 to provide adequate close air support to ground forces. The patch is available from Doctrine Man at the link below:

Monday, March 2, 2015

A-10 - A Deadly Attack Aircraft

The A-10 Warthog is considered one of the best close air support aircraft ever designed and flown in combat. A recent article ranks it as one of the 5 most deadly attack aircraft. The A-10 was the product of some inter-service rivalry - the Air Force didn't want the aircraft yet did not want the Army to take on the role of close air support. Even today, the Air Force plans to retire the A-10 to be able to fund the multi-role F-35 - an aircraft far from able to perform CAS (it's gun system carries only 105 rounds).  Read "Bombs Away: The 5 Most Deadly Attack Aircraft", The National Interest, January 28, 2015.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Report - A-10 Retirement

Everyone knows that the A-10 retirement is a bad thing for ground troops but a good thing for helping the United States Air Force fund its not-quite-ready (see news report on the F-35's GAU-22 Gun System) and very expensive F-35. Read more about the A-10 retirement in Proposed Retirement of A-10 Aircraft: Background in Brief, by Jeremiah Gertler, Congressional Research Service (CRS), January 5, 2015. Report is posted on the Afghan War News website at the link below.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

SF Team Cleared in Friendly Fire Incident

Two Special Forces Soldiers from the 5th Special Forces Group have been cleared of wrongdoing in a friendly fire case that occurred on June 9, 2014. A B-1B bomber dropped two bombs on the position of a Special Forces team killing five Americans and one Afghan sergeant. U.S. Central Command conducted an investigation and pinned some of the blame on the SF team on the ground. The lead investigator, Air Force MG Jeffrey Harrigian, called for charges against the two Green Berets. However, the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), commanded by LTG Charles Cleveland, conducted a review of the incident and cleared the SF team leader and team sergeant of any wrongdoing. The B-1B was conducting a five-mile orbit at 12,000 feet - placing it outside of the effective range of the radios used by the ground team - which caused a decrease in communications effectiveness between the aircrew and the ground team. In addition, the air crew was relying on night vision devices that did not have sufficient range to detect ground team signals. An Air Force Joint Terminal Air Controller (JTAC) on the ground with the SF team called in the air strike. The bombs landed directly on the SF teams position. The B-1B, flying too high and too distant from the SF teams position, was unable to properly execute a mission more suited to the Air Force A-10. The A-10 has crews that specialize in close air support of ground units and can fly low and slow - increasing the effectiveness of communications and able to observe the situation on the ground. Read more in "Green Berets cleared in Afghanistan friendly fire deaths", The Washington Times, December 28, 2014.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

J-35 to Replace A-10? Let's Hope Not

The news just doesn't get any better for the use of the new J-35 as a close support aircraft for ground troops. The Air Force would like to replace the A-10 with a version of the J-35 but it seems the "top-of-the-line" aircraft can't see the battlefield that well. In fact, the technology designed for the J-35 is ten years behind that being used right now by legacy aircraft. Read more in "Newest U.S. Stealth Fighter 10 Years Behind Older Jets", The Daily Beast, December 26, 2014.

NATO Airstrike CIVCAS in Logar

According to Afghan news agencies a NATO airstrike caused civilian casualties in the Baraki Barak district of Logar province on Friday. The airstrike hit a civilian home.  Read more in "NATO Airstrike Kills 5 in Logar", Tolo News, December 27, 2014.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

McCain: A-10 to Stay Awhile

Senator McCain, the incoming Armed Services Committee chairman, says that the A-10 will be around for a little while longer. Certainly this is good news for the Army; which, although it wants to leave counterinsurgency fights behind it, will certainly find itself engaged in COIN efforts like Afghanistan in the future. The A-10, besides being an extremely effective tank killer, provides great close air support. This, of course, is bad news for the Air Force leadership. The Air Force likes their very expensive shiny new toy (F-35) and wants to free up funds buy a lot more of them. Read more in "McCain vows A-10 fleet has a long life ahead"The Hill, December 19, 2014.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Video - A-10 in Action

The U.S. Air Force, proving once again that it disdains the close air support mission so vital to the U.S. Army, is trying to retire about 300 A-10 Warthogs. The USAF maintains that the new F-35 stealth fighter is an adequate ground support despite the fact that it carries a reduced payload, has a low loiter time (compared to the A-10), flies too fast, and is years away from service as a close air support aircraft. Read more in "Watch the A-10 Movie the U.S. Air Force Doesn't Want You to See", War is Boring, December 4, 2014.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A-10 Retirement? Not Quite Yet!

Congress is fighting hard to save the highly valued (by ground troops if not the Air Force) A-10 Warthog. This close air support aircraft is considered by many to be the best ground support platform available - especially in a counterinsurgency fight. The Tactical Air Control Party Association has sent a letter to SECDEF Hagel stating that the ". . . F-15s, F-16s, and B-1s cannot replicate the CAS capabilities of the A-10 . . ." The Air Force wants to scrap almost 300 of the A-10s to save money to buy advanced fighter jets like the F-35. Unfortunately the F-35 comes out on the short end when you analyze the "quality vs. quanity" argument. Some A-10s are still in service in Afghanistan and recently A-10s deployed to the Middle East to engage in the fight against ISIS. Read more in "A-10 Warthog retirement debated after replacements role in 'friendly fire' deaths", The Washington Times, November 30, 2014.