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A-10 GULF WAR STATISTICS

A-10 Thunderbolt II Warthog DoD Credits

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 with 144 aircraft at a time. The remaining aircraft above those 144 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 8,775 sorties maintaining a 95.7% mission capable rate, 5% above A-10 peace-time rates, had the highest sortie rate of any USAF aircraft at 16.5% of all sorties in the Gulf.

Destroyed

  • 987 tanks destroyed
  • 1,026 artillery pieces to include:
    • 501 Armor Personnel Carriers (APC)
    • 249 Command Posts (CP)
    • 11 Frog missile launchers
    • 281 Military structures
    • 96 Radar installations
    • 72 Bunkers
    • 9 SAM sites
    • 8 Fuel tanks
  • 2,000 other military vehicles
  • 1,306 trucks
  • 53 SCUD missiles and launchers
  • Suppressed enemy air defenses
  • Attacked early warning radars
  • 10 aircraft on the ground destroyed
  • 2 Helicopter (air-to-air aircraft) 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" from New Orleans Louisiana and the second by Capt Todd "Shanghai" Sheehy in 81-0964 with the 511th TFS "Vultures" out of RAF Alcombury United Kingdom.

Participating A-10 Units of Desert Storm

Wing
23 TFW
354 TFW
10 TFW
926 TFG
602 TACW
Units
74 TFS
76 TFS
353 TFS Panthers
355 TFS Falcons
511 TFS
706 TFS
23 TASS
Tail Flash
EL
MB
AR
NO
NF
Location
England AFB, LA
Myrtle Beach AFB, SC
RAF Alconbury, UK
Naval Air Station New Orleans, LA
Davis Monthan AFB, AZ
Type ACFT
A-10
A-10
A-10
A-10
OA-10 (FAC)
# ACFT
48
48
18
18
12

A-10's Lost in Combat During Desert Storm:
Most recognizable and feared aircraft: Interviews with captured Iraqi military personnel underscored the overall effectiveness of the A-10, a seemingly ubiquitous threat, that delivered its weapons with deadly accuracy.

According to an Iraqi captain captured by American forces on 24 February 1991, the single most recognizable and feared aircraft at low level was the A-10. Not only did the actual bombing run of the A-10 evoke terror, but also the plane's ability to loiter around a target area prior to its attack caused additional anxiety, since Iraqi soldiers were unsure of the chosen target.

Many Damages: Approx 70 A-10 aircraft suffered some type of battle damage during Desert Storm.  Many of the damages were undocumented cases of relatively minor problems.  Some were even caused by their own aircraft such as a bomb lanyard slapping a wing flap, or a bomb fragment flying up and embedding into it's engine cowling.  But most was caused by small arm fire and surface to air missiles.

We had put together "Quick Fix" teams to deal with all these damages. At first we would go out to the revetment the aircraft parked in after returning from a mission, and give it a quick once over inspection for any damage. However, with the large number of minor damages we were finding, this process soon turned into tertiary inspections performed out at EOR itself, which gave us time to radio ahead for a Quick Fix team to be waiting for the aircraft to park.

I remember too many nights out at EOR, waiting in the EOR tent, warming up MRE's on the light-all engine, and hoping we didn't find too much big damage. It was an excellent spot to be in to watch Scud missiles as they flew over... hopefully over that is.
From 1993 Report 'Gulf War Air Power Survey' Volume III, Logistics & Support, Washington, D.C.[Source Link]
Starting from Page 323
Air Force Logistics Command deployed forty-two aircraft battle damage repair (ABDR) teams, a total of 621 personnel, to the AOR in the first war-time test of the ABDR concept. [1]  The split between active duty and reserve was as shown in Table 30. Individual teams ranged in size from five to thirty-four personnel; each team comprised an aeronautical engineer and specialists in engines, structures, egress systems, electrical systems, guidance and control systems, and other fields.[2]   The first team, from Warner Robins AFB and trained in F-15 repairs, deployed simulta­neously with the first F-15 squadron. Addi­tional ABDR teams and/or individual personnel deployed as CENTAF saw the need. For instance, Logistics Command offered to send additional teams in late September 1990, but CENTAF declined with a request that they remain on-call in the United States. [3]   The deployment experience of the 2951st Combat Logistics Support Squadron from Sacramento Air Logistics Center is probably indicative of the overall deployment of ABDR personnel and is illustrated on Table 31.

Footnotes:
  1. [1] Brfg, AFLC Desert Shield/Storm Lessons Learned; History, Sacramento Air Logis­tics Center in Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Volume III, Aircraft, C3, and Space Systems Support, Sep 1992.
  2. [2] White paper, Michael M. Self, “Air Force Logistics Command Operations in Desert Storm” (AFMC/XPOX: Wright Patterson AFB, OH, Jul 1991).
  3. [3] (S) Msg, USCENTAF/LG to Hq AFLC, 280100Z Sep 1990, subj: Aircraft Battle Damage Repair (ABDR) Augmentation.
Table 30
Aircraft Battle Damage Repair Team Deployment
CATEGORY
ACTIVE
RESERVE
Number of Teams
39
3
Number of Personnel
54
972


Table 31
2951 Combat Logistics Support Squadron (CLSS)
Deployment to Desert Shield/Desert Storm
Departure
Date
Return
Date
Number of
Personnel
Comments
Remarks
11 Aug 1990
12 Oct 1990
4
Augment F-15 team
25 Sep 1990
19 Mar 1991
48
2 F-111 teams
9 Oct 1990
18 Mar 1991
3
Augment 406 CLSS F‑111 team
29 Dec 1990
11 Mar 1991
23
A-10 team
7 Jan 1991
14 Mar 1991
23
A-10 team
16 Jan 1991
11 Mar 1991
23
A-10 team
20 Jan 1991
11 Mar 1991
23
A-10 team
1 Jan 1991
12 Mar 1991
4
Augment 2955 CLSS F‑15 team


Note that two of the A-10 teams arrived in the AOR as the war was starting. [1]

By various counts, approximately thirty aircraft sustained battle damage.[2]  A listing of the Air Force battle damage and repair activity, obtained from the Survivability and Vulnerability Information Analysis Center (SURVIAC), is in Appendix 8-A to this chapter, and shows overall trends.[3]  Figure 63 shows the number of ABDR events by aircraft type.[4]

Footnotes:
  1. [1] Memorandum for the Record, Capt Hawley, 2951 CLSS Maintenance Involvement in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, ca Mar 1991.
  2. [2] The Self white paper indicates that ABDR teams returned 30 aircraft to service, exclusive of non-ABDR maintenance. A review of the individual ABDR record folders at the Survivability Vulnerability Information Analysis Center (SURVIAC) revealed 28 folders on aircraft with damage.
  3. [3] Unless otherwise indicated, data summarized below were obtained on 16 Sep 1992 from individual record folders maintained by the Survivability Vulnerability Information Analysis Center (SURVIAC) at Wright Patterson AFB, OH.
  4. [4] From briefing titled “Desert Storm Aircraft Battle Damage Repair,” part of Briefing Book for United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board Logistics Cross Matrix Panel, 24-26 Apr 1991.
ABDR Events by Aircraft Type
Figure 64 summarizes damage frequency by aircraft area.[1]

Figure 64
Damage Areas

The histogram in Figure 65 characterizes the time required to repair the battle damage.[2] Because of the limited number of aircraft sustaining battle damage, it is probably unwise to use the battle damage repair data as conclusive evidence of any particular trend. It is instructive, however, to compare the early expectations of the ABDR concept with the experience of Desert Storm. In 1976, the Institute for Defense Analysis published a report titled The Impact of Battle Damage on A-10 Availability and Sortie Rate.[3] The report, citing the success of Vietnam-era rapid area maintenance teams, recommended the creation of teams specially trained to perform temporary, field-expedient battle damage repair on A-10 aircraft and is the report that led to the ABDR concept.[4] Based on a fairly extensive simulation analysis, the study concluded that a dramatic saving of time is possible by following the temporary repair doctrine.[5] Figure 66 compares the repair times presented in the 1976 IDA report with those of the fifteen A-10 Desert Storm battle damage incidents on which we were able to obtain repair data. It should be evident that the Desert Storm A-10 ABDR experience is consistent with 1976 expectations in the sense that over fifty percent of the aircraft were returned to service within four hours.[6] Because of the limited amount of battle damage to other than A-10 aircraft, the comparison was not extended to other aircraft types.

A result of the limited need for battle damage repair was that ABDR teams and technicians functioned in their traditional combat logis­tics support squadron (CLSS) roles (i.e., performing heavy mainte­nance) or were simply integrated into the maintenance organizations where they were stationed. The ABDR personnel at Taif are an illustra­tion. Sourced from the 2951st CLSS, 406th CLSS and 2953d CLSS, the 81st Taif ABDR technicians were integrated so thoroughly into the Taif maintenance organization that they held the supervisory positions in the Fabrication Shop, Structural Maintenance Shop, one of the Aircraft Maintenance Units, and the Electric Shop.[7]

Footnotes:
  1. [1] Scientific Advisory Board briefing.
  2. [2] Data are from appendix 1 to this chapter.  The repair times recorded in the individ­ual SURVIAC records jackets were usually in man-hours, in some cases in clock- hours, and in a few instances in terms like “approximately two days.”  In almost all cases, the estimated repair time was recorded rather than the actual repair time.  Core Automated Maintenance System data on ABDR are not available (according to SURVIAC personnel CAMS was not available in Desert Storm for ABDR repair recording).  For this analysis, we took estimated hours to be equal to actual and also assumed that man- hours and clock-hours are equal.  The effects of the two assumptions are partly offsetting in that estimates of repair tend to be optimistic and (at least for repairs with higher man-hour estimates) clock-hours will be a smaller number than man-hours.
  3. [3] S.E. Johnson and Col E.D. Smith, The Impact of Battle Damage on A-10 Availabil­ity and Sortie Rate (Institute for Defense Analysis, Arlington, VA, May 1976).

  4. [4] Tel intvw, J.A. Forbes, GWAPS staff, with Mr. J. Grier (SM-ALC/TIED), 5 Nov 1992.  Mr. Grier was the Deputy Program Manager for the ABDR program.  Mr. Grier also reviewed the data presented here for accuracy.
  5. [5] Johnson and Smith, p 48.

  6. [6] This is in spite of the fact that the IDA study considered only antiaircraft (AAA) fire (up to 23mm).  The Desert Storm data presented include damage from all causes.
  7. [7] Memo, Capt Jim Suzel, SM-ALC/LAC, Combat Logistics Support Squadrons, Mar 1991.