"WASHINGTON - An attack aircraft that the Pentagon is trying to get rid of
has been deployed to the Middle East to take on the Islamic State.
A squadron-sized element of A-10 Thunderbolts arrived in the region during
the week of Nov. 17-21, according to the Air Force. The aircraft were
previously being used in Afghanistan.
The move marks the first time the ugly but battle-proven jet, also known as
the "Warthog," has been thrown into the fight against Islamic State, which
controls much of Iraq and Syria. The A-10 is a slow, low-flying plane that
can unleash massive amounts of firepower against enemy ground forces while
conducting close-air-support missions.
"They're going over there because there's a need . to be postured for a
combat rescue mission," said Jennifer Cassidy, an Air Force spokeswoman.
However, the attack aircraft will likely be sent out to bomb Islamic State
targets as part of the Pentagon's larger air campaign.
"While they're there we will maximize their use," Cassidy said."