Final A-10C Thunderbolt II operational mission for 354th Fighter Squadron “Bulldogs”

Final A-10C Thunderbolt II operational mission for 354th Fighter Squadron “Bulldogs”

By Dario Leone
Jul 8 2024
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Final A-10C Thunderbolt II sortie for 354th Fighter Squadron “Bulldogs”

The 354th Fighter Squadron and 354th Fighter Generation Squadron generated their last A-10C Thunderbolt II sortie at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (AFB) on Jun. 21, 2024.

According to a USAF news release, the “fini flight,” which was flown by Lt. Col. Patrick Chapman, commander of the 354th Fighter Squadron, occurred ahead of the inactivation of both of squadrons which will take place in September of this year.

As the final aircraft touched down, members of the 354th FS and 354th FGS reflected on the many missions and exercises the squadrons have supported. One such exercise, Cope Thunder 23-2, took place at multiple bases throughout the Philippines in preparation for the first Air Force Force Generation cycle.

Final A-10C Thunderbolt II operational mission for 354th Fighter Squadron “Bulldogs”
US Air Force Lt. Col. Patrick “Meat” Chapman, 354th Fighter Squadron commander, left, talks to Senior Airman Jacob Branson, 354th Fighter Generation Squadron dedicated crew chief, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Jun. 21, 2024. Branson sent off Chapman on the last sortie for the 354th FGS and 354th FS.

“Being able to quickly generate aircraft, like deploying to the Philippines and moving assets to an area that we haven’t been to, set us up for success,” said Senior Airman Jacob Branson, 354th FGS dedicated crew chief.

The Bulldogs last deployment was to Al Dhafra Air Base from October 2023 to April 2024 in support of the first AFFORGEN cycle and was instrumental in developing attack leaders and deploying combat airpower.

“Our most recent deployment was an operationally challenging one,” said Chapman. “I’m proud of the ops and the maintenance team for stepping up to meet those challenges, which ultimately protected coalition lives during a very turbulent time in the Middle East.”

The 492nd Special Operations Wing

The inactivation of the 354th FS and 354th FGS comes as their assigned A-10s are divested as part of the Air Force’s modernization efforts, and as the base makes way for the planned arrival of the 492nd Special Operations Wing.

Final A-10C Thunderbolt II operational mission for 354th Fighter Squadron “Bulldogs”
A US Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft sits on the flightline at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Jun. 21, 2024. The A-10 aircraft is officially being divested in September of 2024.

The 492nd Special Operations Wing (492 SOW) is a primary support unit of the Air Force Special Operations Command, the Air Force Component of the US Special Operations Command.

The wing is responsible for the training of Air Force special operations forces as well as AFSOC’s non-standard aviation program in support of Air Force Special Operations Forces throughout the world.

The 492nd SOW operates under the Total Force Integration (TFI) concept as the wing brings together the strengths of the active duty Air Force, the Air Force Reserve, the Air National Guard, Department of Defense civilians, and contract personnel to form an integrated training team dedicated to building new Air Commandos.

The unit provides mission qualification training in SOF aviation platforms to include AC-130J, U-28, C-146 as well as small unmanned aerial systems, medical element personnel, and AFSOC Security Forces. In addition to AFSOC personnel, the wing is responsible for educating and training other USSOCOM components and joint/interagency/coalition partners.

Cool 3D animation shows how A-10 Thunderbolt II’s GAU-8 Avenger 30mm cannon works
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. A-10C Thunderbolt II 355th FW, 354th FS Bulldogs, FS/82-684. Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ – 2015

Photo credit: Senior Airman Vaughn Weber / U.S. Air Force


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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.
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