The Air Force recently released a bunch of crazy pictures of A-10 Thunderbolt IIs getting refueled over Afghanistan, where the US recently redeployed a squadron of 12 Warthogs.
The A-10s were deployed in late January 2018 to Kandahar Air Base as part of a new campaign announced in November 2017. The US is increasing airstrikes on Taliban revenue sources, much of which is opium and heroin drug-producing facilities.
Since then, the US has released several videos of A-10s striking Taliban vehicles, as well as training and drug-producing facilities.
Some analysts, however, have criticized the new strategy as a game of whack-a-mole, since the Taliban can rebuild such drug-producing facilities in three or four days.
The latest SIGAR report also noted that civilian casualties increased in November 2017. "Press reports stated several civilians were killed during the November bombings," the report said.
The recently released A-10 photos though are pretty incredible, providing a close-up of how the Warthog is refueled in mid-air.
Check them out:
1. The pictures, taken from a KC-135 Stratotanker, first show the A-10 maneuvering into position for refueling.
An A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot maneuvers into formation while waiting for his wingman to conduct refueling operations with a KC-135 Stratotanker over Afghanistan on March 12, 2018. (DVIDS)
3. But surely ...
4. Once in position, the KC-135 extends the refueling boom down towards the Warthog.
5. And refueling begins.
6. Once refueled, the A-10 inverts away and launches flares.
7. And goes on its way.
8. After the refuel, the photographer got a close-up of the cockpit.
A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot flies over Afghanistan after completing aerial refueling operations with a KC-135 Stratotanker over Afghanistan on March 12, 2018. (DVIDS)