From Zero Hedge, February 18, 2015
Karl-Georg Wellmann, a lawmaker in Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union has warned that, despite its efforts to avoid arms being provided to Ukraine, Germany “will no longer be able to stop weapons deliveries from the U.S. and Canada.” Almost too coincidental to these comments, CNN reports, the U.S. Air Force is sending its A-10 “tankbusters” back to Europe in order to “increase rotational presence in Europe to reassure our allies and partner nations that our commitment to European security is a priority.” As Wellmann ominously concludes, seemingly confirming Putin’s warning yesterday that if Kiev aims at a military solution, war will never end, “a large-scale war could develop out of that.”
And so, as CNN reports, The US is sending in the Warthogs…
The U.S. Air Force is sending its “tankbusters” back to Europe.
The service’s European Command said this week that 12 A-10 Thunderbolts would be deployed to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, which was formed after Russia’s intervention in Ukraine over the past year.
The Air Force said besides operating in Germany, the A-10s will be forward deployed to other partner nations in Eastern Europe. U.S. forces have operated out of bases in Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, among others, in the past year.
The A-10, also known as the “Warthog,” was designed in the 1970s to support ground troops in Europe against the tanks and armored vehicles of the then-Soviet Union. Though the jets can carry a variety of bombs and missiles, they are best known for their nose-mounted, seven-barrel 30 mm Gatling gun that can fire almost 4,000 rounds per minute, enough to quickly blow apart a tank. The planes are also durable, with the pilot protected from ground fire by a wrapping of titanium often called “the bathtub.” And they are designed for easy maintenance in battlefield areas, with interchangeable parts for the right and left sides of the aircraft.
Below is the U.S. military release.
U.S. Air Forces in Europe U.S. Air Force Africa
February 18, 2015
Theater security package begins rotation in Europe
By Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany: The 3rd Air Force commander announced the beginning of the U.S. Air Force’s first European theater security package Feb. 18, 2015, at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, 3rd Air Force and 17th Expeditionary Air Force commander, addressed media, local authorities and the 52nd Fighter Wing while welcoming the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron at the start of the first European TSP rotation.
According to an initial release by U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, the squadron will fly with NATO allies and support Operation Atlantic Resolve. OAR is a demonstration of U.S. European Command and USAFE-AFAFRICA’s continued commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to the enduring peace and stability in the region.
Twelve U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft and approximately 300 Airmen from the 355th Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., are supporting this rotation. The unit will train alongside NATO allies and deploy to locations in Eastern European NATO nations to further enhance interoperability.
“This TSP is a long range, strategic capability to allow the Air Force greater flexibility against evolving threats,” Roberson said. “It is not tied to a specific platform or aircraft, but instead is a method of presenting forces at the right time to the right combatant commander. Our abilities must remain agile to sustain and increase regional security.”
Depending on mission and EUCOM requirements, rotations of TSPs will generally last six months. While TSP missions are new to Europe, the Air Force has been conducting TSP rotations in the Pacific since 2004.
“This operation will remain a construct here in Europe as long as it is needed,” Roberson said. “The Airmen of the 354th EFS are ready to give quick support and quick defense. They will continue to reassure our allies the U.S. commitment to NATO.”
U.S. Air Force leads NATO reinforcement against Russia