Dedicated to my "TOUCH of CLaSS" 2951 CLSS team mates and the
35 USAF members, 6 of them A-10 pilots, who paid the ultimate sacrifice during Operation Desert Storm...
YOU ARE NEVER FORGOTTEN!
The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II "Warthog" is the only aircraft in United States Air Force (USAF) history designed specifically for the close air support
It was designed to be able to survive in an intense anti-aircraft environment including anti-aircraft guns, radar-guided and infrared missiles and be able to absorb battle damage and keep flying. In fact, the
A-10 is probably the most difficult plane to shoot down ever built due to its extreme maneuverability, electronic countermeasures, self-sealing fuel tanks, widely separated jet engines, twin tails, manual backup flight control system and redundant wing spars.
A total of 165 of these most recognizable and feared aircraft from 5 different units participated in Operation Desert Storm. All units were formalized under the 354th Provisional Wing 144 aircraft at a time. The
remaining aircraft were replacements standing by at an off-site location to replace aircraft damaged beyond continued combat status or aircraft destroyed.
Together, these A-10 and OA-10 aircraft conducted 8,624 sorties maintaining a 95.7% mission capable rate,
5% above A-10 peace-time rates, had the highest sortie rate of any USAF aircraft. They
967 tanks destroyed
1026 pieces of artillery destroyed
1306 trucks destroyed
281 military structures destroyed
53 Scud missiles destroyed
10 aircraft on the ground destroyed
2 air-to-air aircraft (helicopter) kills with the GAU-8A 30mm Avenger cannon: 6 February 1991 by Capt. Bob Swain
in 77-0205 of the 706th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 926th Tactical Fighter Group "Cajuns" out of New Orleans Louisiana
and the second by Capt Todd "Shanghai" Sheehy in
81-0964 flying with the 511th TFS "Vultures" out of RAF Alcombury United Kingdom.
Pilots often flew up to three missions per day with A-10's accounted for destroying 1/4 of Iraq's entire arsenal. [Read more on statistics....]
Often exposed to withering anti-aircraft fire and surface-to-air missile threats the slow, highly maneuverable A-10's incurred extensivecombat battle damage during Desert Storm. Five
A-10s were lost in action, another destroyed attempting to land at KKMC Forward Operating Location #1 after being badly battle damaged,
nearly twenty more sustained significant battle damage and many others incurred minor damage.
Roughly half the total A-10 force, about 70, supporting Desert Storm suffered some type of damage.
Our 2951st Combat Logistics Support Squadron (CLSS) CLSS, role was to repair battle damaged A-10's
and get them back into the war. My job
was as Aircraft Battle Damage Repair (ABDR) Assessor to evaluate damages, develop a plan for the repairs required and prioritize those repairs in a triage method, although in a reverse triage philosophy than
in a hospital emergency room where the worse gets treated first... in ABDR you get the easiest, or smallest damaged aircraft repaired first to get them in the air faster.
In addition to A-10 battle damage repairs we also
performed major depot level repairs on some of the A-10's, as well as battle damage repairs and routine repairs on F-16 Fighting Falcon,
F-4 Phantom, C-130 Hercules and C-5 Galaxy aircraft as well as a couple trucks, a front-end loader... Jacks of all trades! I was assigned to the
2951st Combat Logistics Support Squadron, later re-activated as the 652nd CLSS, McClellan AFB from 1988-1993.
In addition to our A-10 role, the 2951 CLSS had F-111 ABDR teams deployed as
well as Supply and Transportation teams deployed around the Gulf region.
While my website here focuses on our A-10 mission (my mission), our other teams
performed the same type of high quality, professional and extremely valuable
missions as any of us.
Together, the entire 2951 CLSS was "A Touch of CLaSS!"