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U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Hodges, an A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot assigned to the 303rd Fighter Squadron, climbs into his aircraft during a local flying mission at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., Feb. 14, 2017. The A-10 Thunderbolt II has excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and is a highly accurate and survivable weapons-delivery platform. The aircraft can loiter near battle areas for extended periods of time and operate in low ceiling and visibility conditions.
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U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Alonso Gudino, a crew chief assigned to the 358th Fighter Squadron, awaits pilot's signals to taxi out of the parkway during pre-flight checks at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., Feb. 14, 2017. The Thunderbolt II can be serviced and operated from austere bases with limited facilities near battle areas. Many of the aircraft’s parts are interchangeable left and right, including the engines, main landing gear and vertical stabilizers. Avionics equipment includes multi-band communications; global positioning system and inertial navigations systems; infrared and electronic countermeasures against air-to-air and air-to-surface threats. Also, it has a heads-up display to display flight and weapons delivery information.
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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Terry Reece, a crew chief assigned to the 358th Fighter Squadron, stands on the side of an A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft while securing the pilot in the cockpit during pre-flight checks at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., Feb. 14, 2017. The A-10 Thunderbolt II is the first Air Force aircraft specially designed for close air support of ground forces. They are simple, effective and survivable twin-engine jet aircraft that can be used against all ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles.
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U.S. Air Force Major Rox Kirkendall, an A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot assigned to the 303rd Fighter Squadron, sits in the cockpit prior to a local flying mission at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., Feb. 14, 2017. The A-10 Thunderbolt II is the first Air Force aircraft specially designed for close air support of ground forces. They are simple, effective and survivable twin-engine jet aircraft that can be used against all ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles.
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