US moves A-10 Thunderbolt bomber jets into Incirlik Air Base

Twelve A-10 Thunderbolt II bomber jets have been moved into Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base replacing six F-16 fighter jets

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A-10 Thunderbolt II attack plane

Turkish media reported, based on a statement from a Pentagon official that twelve A-10 Thunderbolt II bomber jets have been moved into Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base, replacing six F-16 fighter jets.

The defense official said, "On Oct. 20, airmen and 12 A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from the 75th fighter squadron from Moody AFB, Georgia, arrived at Incirlik Air Base, where they will operate in support of Operation Inherent Resolve," speaking to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.

The Operation Inherent Resolve is the name of the US military operation against ISIS in Syria, and Iraq.

"The A-10s repositioned from an undisclosed location in the CENTCOM area of operations," and the six F-16s have currently been repositioned with their military personnel at the Aviano Air Base in Italy, the official added.

Incirlik air base is located in the Turkish southern province of Adana and it has been used by the US and NATO forces for various conflicts since 1958. The base is also located 100 km (60 miles) from northwest Syrian border.

Turkey reached a comprehensive agreement with the US government on July 23 to allow its Incirlik base and Turkish airspace to be used by the US-led coalition air forces for air strikes against ISIS in order to execute a joint action plan for northern Syrian issues.

The agreement has been described as “a game changer” in the fight against ISIS at the time by the US officials.

The A-10 Thunderbolt II bombers were particularly designed in order to provide close air support against targets including tanks, armoured vehicles, and various ground objects.

US military began using A-10s against ISIS targets in central and northwestern Iraq on almost daily basis as of mid-November 2014 according to media accounts.

The aircraft was mainly developed on the grounds that the US air forces were vulnerable against enemy ground fire in the form of small arms, surface-to-air missiles, and anti-aircraft gunfire which specifically caused many losses of the US ground-attack aircrafts during the Vietnam War.

TRTWorld and agencies