USAF plots transition plan for A-10C units in Georgia, Idaho

The USAF revealed its latest fielding plans for the F-35A Lightning II on June 26, when it announced the selection of Moody AFB, Georgia, as the next preferred location to receive the fifth-generation multi-role stealth fighter.

Under this plan, the 23rd Wing’s 23rd Fighter Group at the Valdosta base would transition from the A-10C Thunderbolt II close air support/ground attack aircraft to the Lightning II. The Moody-based unit is currently responsible for the Thunderbolt II-equipped 74th Fighter Squadron (FS) ‘Flying Tigers’ and 75th FS ‘Tiger Sharks’. Responsibility for operating and maintaining the A-10Cs is shared with Air Force Reserve Command’s 76th FS, which reports to the 476th Fighter Group at Moody.

A Fairchild Republic A-10C Thunderbolt II (serial 79-0216 'FT') of the USAF's Moody-based 75th FS 'Tiger Sharks' departs Nellis AFB, Nevada, for a mission during Exercise Green Flag-West on September 19, 2019.
A Fairchild Republic A-10C Thunderbolt II (serial 79-0216 'FT') of the USAF's Moody-based 75th FS 'Tiger Sharks' departs Nellis AFB, Nevada, for a mission during Exercise Green Flag-West on September 19, 2019. USAF/Randy Lewis

If the USAF receives congressional approval to reduce its current A-10C fleet by 42 aircraft, six of the 23rd Wing’s 54 ‘Warthogs’ will be withdrawn from use in 2024. The remaining 48 A-10Cs at Moody would then be gradually phased out of service by 2028. If all goes as planned, the first F-35As will arrive at the Georgia base by FY29.

The USAF also announced that the Idaho Air National Guard’s (ANG’s) 124th Fighter Wing and its 190th FS ‘Skullbangers’ at Gowen Field ANGB in Boise will transition from the A-10C to the F-16C Fighting Falcon. Retirement of the Idaho ANG’s A-10Cs is slated to begin in the autumn of 2026, with the first F-16Cs expected to arrive at the base from Spring 2027. Neither move will be finalised until environmental impact analyses have been completed in the autumn of 2025 and spring of 2025, respectively.