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U.S. Air Force A-10 Attack Aircraft; Landings and Take Offs practice carried out from Rural Highway And Austere Runway in Estonia

U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II, assigned to 107th Fighter Squadron, Selfridge, Mich., practice landing on a un-operational, austere runway in Haapsalu, Estonia, during Saber Strike 18 June 7, 2018. This event tests and demonstrates USAF capability to perform unimproved surface operations invaluable to pilots and combat controllers in preperation for effective responses, while training with NATO's enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battlegroups. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Bobbie Reynolds)

A-10 aircraft is practically immune from Foreign Object Damage due to its engines being mounted far from the surface of the runway. Due to this reason, A-10 aka Warthog is often used for practicing landings and takeoffs at Eastern Europe.

The reason for these practices in Eastern Europe is because the area is filled with highway strips, abandoned Warsaw Pact military airfields which have not been in use since the end of Cold War which makes them suitable for training purposes.

At the beginning of June, 8 of the A-10C aircraft from the 107th Fighter Squadron stationed at the Selfridge ANGB Michigan have been deployed to Lielvarde Air Base in Latvia. Their deployment to Latvia is for them to take part in the training exercise titled as ‘Exercise Saber Strike 18” which Is also a long-standing US Army-Europe led cooperative training exercise. The purpose of this training exercise is to enhance the readiness as well as the interoperability among allies and regional partners in the time of need.

On June 7th, 2018, to test out the unimproved surface operations whilst training with NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battle Groups, these 8 deployed A-10s partook in the exercise which was carried out on the Jägala-Käravete Highway in Jägala, a rural highway in northern Estonia.

In this training exercise a practice for landing the aircraft on an un-operational, austere runway in Haapsalu, Estonia was also carried out.

To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Red Devils of the 107th Fighter Squadron, on that very same day; a special colored A-10C was also involved in the practice training.

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