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"A-10 Pilots Awarded For Saving 50 US Troops In ..." Topic

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Tango0124 Dec 2018 9:36 p.m. PST

….‘Danger Close' Military Operation In Syria.

"Two U.S. Air Force pilots have been awarded the National Aeronautic Association's Mackay Trophy for "most meritorious flight" of 2017, in recognition of their providing close air support to more than 50 American and Syrian Democratic Forces troops who were pinned down by enemy fire.

On May 2, 2017, A-10 Thunderbolt pilots Maj. Tyler Schultz and Capt. Samantha Harvey were re-tasked to support the group of Americans and their Syrian partners as they tried to fight off the enemy's heavy machine guns, mortars, and RPG fire.

"For over five hours, Captain Harvey and Major Schultz overcame communications degradation, severe thunderstorms, and near-zero visibility, ultimately saving the lives of friendly forces," according to an NAA press release of the two pilots, operating as Boar 51 flight…."
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Imho… I doubt that the F-35 could have conducted the same type of operation, let alone staying over the combat zone for five hours….


Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2018 10:10 a.m. PST

That does seems like an endorsement for the A-10. The F-35 will provide fine ground support, but nothing like what the A-10 can do.

To say nothing of those pilots! That's some serious persistence.

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2018 12:02 p.m. PST

"No matter how much it hurts, how dark it gets, how hard you fall, you are never out of the fight." Marcus Luttrell

BZ to those USAF pilots!

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2018 1:01 p.m. PST

1300 rounds and 1500lb of ordinance seems very little for two planes and hours. Could it be promoted because of female pilot?

Tango0125 Dec 2018 2:57 p.m. PST



shirleys painting Inactive Member25 Dec 2018 7:44 p.m. PST

Agreed, Jcfrog. My husband served in Afghanistan. He read that piece and his comment was "yeah, thats BS." He was in heavey fighting in Kunar Province, and was wounded in 2009. He said A-10's did'nt hang over that long, and they did'nt relay like that, either.

The Archer25 Dec 2018 7:53 p.m. PST

1300 rounds is near the total for one bird if loaded to capacity- which I'm told is rare. So in that, 1300 rounds between two birds… likely little over half from at least 1 bird and less from the other.

1500lbs ord is a bit light but without knowing what the birds carried on their hardpoints, can't say if they had a solid mix of the right stuff.

They DO carry Anti-Air missiles which eats some of a payload.

So was that there was a female pilot involved a reason for the award? Perhaps it was a factor…. but anything Danger Close for support is impressive- and that they were lingering for five hours in garbage conditions… is worthy of a BZ. 19 different targets in garbage conditions… and no friendly fire reports? Impressive as hell.

Especially since the Fast Movers the fighter jocks want for the job would never be able to do the linger.

Lion in the Stars25 Dec 2018 11:06 p.m. PST

Two sidewinders and a Jammer pod will eat about 1500lbs of payload, minimum (that's two pylons, so 2/11 of 15000lbs, and pylons 5 and 7 at the wing roots usually don't get loaded at all). Bombload is probably light due to using 250lb or 500lb bombs a lot in Syria. You can drop those a lot closer to friendly troops than a 1000lb!.

And as The Archer said, that's a full load of 30mm for one bird, if they get a full load. Delivered about 50-100 rounds at a time, in half-to-full second bursts (the first second of shooting is slower than the nominal rate because the gun needs to come up to rpm). You can deliver 30mm a lot closer than bombs, within 200m if the attack run is parallel to friendly lines. During peacetime gunnery competitions. You can probably deliver 30mm runs within 100m during combat.

wardog30 Dec 2018 2:39 p.m. PST

plus a couple of dummy runs to keep their head down break up an impeding attack

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