The first set of A-10 Warthogs from the 355th Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, have moved to the boneyard after nearly a half-century of flight.
Both of the aircraft, which belonged to the 354th Fighter Squadron, didn’t have to go far to retire, according to an announcement Thursday. The second of the two aircraft taxied to its final resting place on Tuesday at the 309th Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Group, otherwise known as the boneyard. Davis-Monthan retired its first Warthog about two weeks earlier.
The 355th Wing plans to retire the squadron through the fall, with the move part of the Air Force’s plan to replace its aging fleet of Warthog attack planes with more advanced fighter jets by the end of the decade.
“The A-10 has been the symbol of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base for many years, and it will continue to be a symbol for the airmen of [Davis-Monthan], a symbol of their commitment, excellence and service,” 355th Wing Commander Col. Scott Mills, an A-10 pilot, said in the release.
Davis-Monthan’s fleet of Warthogs now includes 76 of the aircraft across three squadrons, which will eventually disband. Maintainers and pilots will transfer to other units across the service, some of which fly the F-35. As the older planes are phased out, the 492nd Special Operations Wing is slated to move from Hurlburt Field, Florida, to Davis-Monthan.
The 492nd is one of three wings being reshaped into “power projection wings” that will combine a range of special operations missions, including airborne strike and surveillance and ground forces. Under that plan, Davis-Monthan expects to add the MC-130 amphibious armed airlifter and the OA-1K counterterrorism aircraft.
The Air Force retired 21 A-10 aircraft in fiscal 2023 from the 122nd Fighter Wing at Fort Wayne Air National Guard Base, Indiana, bringing its A-10 inventory from 281 to 260, Air Combat Command told Air Force Times Friday.
The service has divested five of the aircraft so far in fiscal 2024, including those at Davis-Monthan, and plans to reduce its stock of Warthogs to 218 by the end of the year. Thirty-six of those aircraft will come from Davis-Monthan, with the remainder from Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.
Davis-Monthan received its first A-10 in 1976.
Courtney Mabeus-Brown is the senior reporter at Air Force Times. She is an award-winning journalist who previously covered the military for Navy Times and The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., where she first set foot on an aircraft carrier. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy and more.