Two sorties of A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft struck Taliban militants in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on Jan. 24. It’s the first series of strikes by the aircraft since its return to Afghanistan on Jan. 19.
The aircraft, commonly referred as the Warthog, has been absent from Afghanistan since 2014 as America began rapidly withdrawing forces from the region.
The A-10 is one of the military’s most beloved aircraft, especially in Afghanistan, where the plane’s 30mm cannon has dealt punishing blows to Taliban fighters for years.
“The A-10 kinetic strikes were in support of an Afghan National Defense and Security Forces patrol that was being engaged with small arms and a PK machine gun,” an air officer with Task Force Southwest told Marine Corps Times.
The Marine task force commander called in for approval of the strike, while a U.S. Army drone marked the target. It was a “joint effort in support of our ANDSF ground force partners,” the air officer said.