Time-lapse video shows Moody Maintainers replacing damaged horizontal stabilizer of an A-10 Warthog to prevent it from being decommissioned

Time-lapse video shows Moody Maintainers replacing damaged horizontal stabilizer of an A-10 Warthog to prevent it from being decommissioned

By Dario Leone
Aug 30 2023
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Damaged A-10 Warthog

Filmed by Airman 1st Class Leonid Soubbotine, 23rd Wing Public Affairs, at Moody Air Force Base (AFB) and published on DVIDS on Aug. 16, 2023 the interesting time-lapse video in this post features an A-10C Warthog being repaired after it was scheduled to be decommissioned after an in-flight bird strike damaged its horizontal stabilizer.

Thanks to the quick thinking of Moody’s Airmen, and with the approval of Hill AFB engineers, a tail swap was authorized to save the plane.

The combined effort of 23rd MXS Aircraft Repair and Reclamation sections and the 74th and 75th Phase Inspection team members performed the repair, which has only been done at Moody once before in 2008.

TSgt Joseph Yant, TSgt. Justin Horne and SSgt. Casey Lassiter developed a maintenance plan to execute this rare and complex task to help the 23rd Wing mission as it continues to Attack, Rescue, and Prevail!

A-10 Warthog replacement

As already reported, in June the Department of the Air Force selected Moody AFB, Georgia, as the preferred location to receive the next active-duty F-35A Lightning II mission.

A-10C Moody print
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. A-10C Thunderbolt II 23d W, 74th FS Flying Tigers, FT/80-144. Moody AFB, GA – 2011

Two squadrons of F-35As are projected to begin arriving in FY27 and are anticipated to require an increase in approximately 500 personnel.

The decision to host the F-35 mission at Moody AFB came after assessing the area’s ability to facilitate the mission and infrastructure capacity, while accounting for community support, environmental factors and cost.

The Fiscal Year 2024 Program Objective Memorandum details department plans to retire 54 A-10 Thunderbolt IIs. If approved, six A-10s will be divested out of Moody AFB in FY24 with the remaining A-10s divesting by FY28.

A-10 retirement

The US Air Force (USAF) Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown Jr. said on Mar. 7, 2023 the service would likely retire all its A-10 Warthog attack aircraft over the next five or six years.

Until recently, the USAF and Congress have disagreed over what to do with the iconic close air support aircraft (CAS). While the A-10 was known and beloved for its CAS role in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last two decades, the USAF says the low-and-slow-flying plane would not be able to survive in a fight against a nation with modern air defenses, like China.

Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II model
This model is available from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

But now, with Congress starting to go along with the Air Force’s wish to retire its aging A-10 fleet, Brown “4+1” fighter plan of two years ago is “probably just ‘4’ now,” he said on Mar. 15.

The A-10’s CAS mission can be carried out by a variety of other platforms, Brown said, and the Air Force must move on to cutting-edge capabilities that can survive in contested airspace and will keep the service ahead of China, the pacing threat.

The four fighters in USAF’s plan will be the:

• F-35
• F-16
• F-15E/F-15EX
• F-22 before it transitions to the Next-Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) fighter around 2030

The first A-10s to be retired will be those of the 122nd Fighter Wing Blacksnakes in Fort Wayne that will replace its fleet of 21 Thunderbolt II CAS aircraft with F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets.


Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Leonid Soubbotine / 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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