US Air Force’s A-10 Thunderbolt arrive at Estonia to practise highway landing

8 August 2016 (Last Updated August 8th, 2016 18:30)

The US Air Force Reserve Command's eight A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft have landed in Estonia to practise landing.

The US Air Force Reserve Command's eight A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft have landed in Estonia to practise landing.

The A-10s assigned to the 442nd Fighter Wing (FW) at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri conducted highway landings on the Jägala-Käravete Highway in Northern Estonia on 1 August.

The aircraft carried out landing on alternative runways in order to avoid failure when primary runways are not available during a combat situation.

During the event, the 442nd FW aircraft successfully conducted eight landings and takeoffs from the highway to demonstrate the Air Force’s tactical capabilities.

321st Special Tactics Squadron combat controller said: “Overall, the Estonians were great in helping us out and getting our mission accomplished, and as far as the coordination went, it couldn’t have gone smoother.

“This was a good experience and a good time and it definitely enhanced our capability and presence in the area.”

The event marks the second highway landing to take place in Estonia following the first landing that took place last June as part of exercise Saber Strike 16.

"This was a good experience and a good time and it definitely enhanced our capability and presence in the area."

The A-10’s design allows the aircraft to land in a variety of locations, including semi-prepared landing strips and austere sites, USAF said in a statement.

The aircraft’s wide tires and high-mounted engines help avoid foreign object damage and allow it to land on many surfaces.

Upon its arrival on 25 July, the 442nd FW began a flying training deployment with the Estonian Air Force in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.


Image: A US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt landing in Northern Estonia. Photo: courtesy of Andres Putting.