After 30 years of presence in Europe, the last 4 Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II's (a.k.a. 'Wharthog') left Spangdahlem airbase (ICAO code: ETAD) in Germany, on Friday May 17th 2013.
Due to budget cuts, the 81st Fighter Squadron 'Panthers', part of 52nd Fighter Wing will be withdrawn from the strength of the US Air Force in Europe. The 81st squadron will be deactivated soon and the A-10 aircraft will be based at Davis-Monthan airbase in Arizona.
The departure of the A-10s took part in typical Spangdahlem weather, rain and low clouds. A-10 with tailcode 81-988 was the last of the 4 A-10s taking off, disappearing into the clouds, ending an era of 30 years of A-10s in the European sky......
G.J.A. van Boven
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