Peter Boschert in Spangdahlem for Combined Resolve II
Airmen and seven A-10C airplanes of the Idaho Air National Guard were sent for the exercise Combined Resolve II to Spangdahlem AB, Germany. Together with the aircraft came 103 personal for the exercise, which lasted from 16th May to 30th May 2014.
The US Army invited the Air National Guard to participate in its large exercise which included participants of 15 NATO and European countries (Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Lithuania, Poland, Rumania, Serbia, Slowenia and the United States of America). The training area for the A-10C were the ranges in Grafenwöhr and Hohenfels, the last one with nearly 88 squaremiles one of the largest in Europe.
The mission of the A-10C Thunderbolt II for this exercise was the same like in Idaho – CAS (Counter Air Support), supporting the troops on the ground with its own means and FAC (Forward Air Controller). In the first week the weather supported the tasked missions. However, that changed in the second week, were flying was very limited, either because of the weather at the homebase and later the weather at the ranges.
Coming with the pilots of the ANG was Colonel Paul K. Kingley, the acting Commander of the 124th Operation Group. He is one of the pilots with the most experience in the USAF, having achived nearly 6000 flying hours and 482 combat flying hours with the F-4 Phantom and A-10 Thunderbolt II. He was also stationed in Germany, flying the F-4G Wild Weasel with the 480th TFS / 52nd TFW from March 1989 to January 1991. So he knew the area and its challenges.
After the return of the A-10C to its homebase Gowen Field, Boise, ID, the unit faces the next challenge. It will switch from the A-10 to the F-15E, moving from Boise to Mountain Home Air Force Base (roughly 30 miles away), changing also its role and task. The unit will then associated to the 366th FW.
A special “thank you” for the support to the PAO of 52nd FW and the personal of the Idaho ANG which made this article possible.