Hogs are running wild over Hawaii! A-10s from the 442nd Fighter Wing based at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri have made the long flight to the Pacific island paradise to conduct a wide range of training with other assets forward deployed to the region or that already call the islands home. This has included close air support exercises with B-52H Stratofortress that hopped over from their temporary base on Guam, as well as MV-22 Ospreys from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268 (VMM-232) ‘The Red Dragons’ based out of MCAS Kaneohe Bay on the island of Oahu. Thankfully, public affairs brought along a photographer for a cooperative sortie with A-10s and MV-22s, with stunning results to show for it.
The MV-22s and A-10s teamed up for a joint escort insertion training mission, in which the A-10s would provide direct cover for MV-22s as they practiced infiltrating into a target area and dropping off forces once there. This type of sortie shares some similarities to the Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP) mission set—a form of combat search and rescue focused on the recovery of downed aircrew that the Marines and their Ospreys amazing at.
A-10s and MV-22s are quite wonderfully paired. The A-10 offers a heavy-hitting and hardy armed escort and close air support capability that, unlike attack helicopters can, keep up with the tiltrotor Ospreys. It is also far more adept at open operating at very low levels and has superior endurance than other fixed-wing tactical jets. The A-10 crews are masters at employing their airframes in the ‘Sandy’ role, scouting and clearing landing areas and providing overwatch and fire suppression as the rescue crews go about their business on the ground. See this past article of mine for more info on the A-10 and this unique mission.
Marine Osprey crews have been experimenting with pairing with different fixed-wing platforms for the escort insertion missions, including turboprop light attack planes. You can read more about this in this past piece of ours.
Regardless, here are some gorgeous shots of the Missouri-based A-10s escorting Ospreys during training around Hawaii:
The A-10s presence at MCAS Kaneohe Bay is slated to last into the first week on March. An official advisory reads:
From February 11th to March 2nd, there will be an increase in aircraft activity aboard Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Oahu residents may see and hear increased aircraft activity surrounding the base. Maintenance may occur overnight to ensure the safe operation of all aircraft.
The increase of aircraft activity is in support of the installation producing readiness for our service members stationed and or visiting the installation.
The U.S. Air Force’s 442d Fighter Wing will be deployed to the base and supporting U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force unit training aboard the PŌHAKULOA TRAINING AREA, Hawai‘i.We truly appreciate the understanding and continued support of local communities for our service members and their mission.
Oahu has seen a major uptick in military aircraft exercises as of late, some of which are more publicized and others. Most notably, the B-2 Spirit force has started to make Hickam Air Force Base a temporary home as of late. This has resulted in some incredible photos too, but let’s hope we get some more pics and maybe even some videos of the ‘Hog’s visit to paradise!
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