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C-17 Globemaster III

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C-17 Globemaster III

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C-17 Globemaster III from the 446th Airlift Wing, McChord, Air Force Base, Wash.

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A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from the 446th Airlift Wing, McChord, Air Force Base, Wash., lands on a newly established runway after conducting a daytime airdrop mission at Schoonover Field at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif, July 13, 2008, in support of Exercise Hydra 2008.

An annual joint exercise held at more than 3 locations in northern California, Hydra demonstrates joint coordination of bare-base setup, runway development, cargo and personnel airdrop proficiency, and other critical airlift capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. John D. Herrick)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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Airman 1st Class Timothy Coulson (on stand) and Airman Daniel Peters sand down the primer on an A-10 Thunderbolt II Aug. 20 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, to prepare it for its base coat of paint. Members of the 354th Maintenance Squadron fabrication shop are working on restoring this A-10 to be a static display in the base's Heritage Park. This aircraft will be a permanent reminder of the 355th Fighter Squadron's presence here before its deactivation in 2007. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan Snyder)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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On the nose of the A-10 Thunderbolt II is a 30mm GAU-8 Avenger seven-barrel Gatling gun which is used to pierce heavy armor. A-10s in Afghanistan used the cannon Aug. 9 to provide close air support for troops on the ground. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Joshua Strang)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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An A-10 pilot takes off in an A-10 Thunderbolt II in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. David Kurle)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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An A-10 Thunderbolt II takes off from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. A-10s provide close-air support and airborne forward air control. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. David Kurle)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, like this one taking off from Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, provide close-air-support for coalition troops engaging enemy forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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An A-10C Thunderbolt II undergoes computerized diagnostic measurement June 12 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Using Virtual Surveillance Target Attack Radar System technology, the system will generate a 3-D image of the aircraft. The 3-D image will help engineers outfit the A-10 for smart weapons. This is the first time an A-10 has been digitally recorded. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stacia Zachary)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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An Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II returns to the fight after receiving fuel May 29 from a KC-135 Stratotanker during a mission over Afghanistan. The A-10 is deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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An Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft moves into position to receive fuel May 29 from a KC-135 Stratotanker during a mission over Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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An A-10 Thunderbolt II takes off from Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, to fly a combat sortie in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The A-10 has excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and is a highly accurate weapons-delivery aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from the 354th Fighter Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., fly a training mission over the Berry Goldwater Range in Arizona. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jesse Shipps)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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Col. Jon Mott breaks the record for the most documented hours in an A-10 Thunderbolt II during a refueling mission March 30. Colonel Mott, with the Massachusetts Air National Guard's 104 Fighter Wing, has flown more than 4,570 hours in the A-10. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Melanie Norman)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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1990's -- An A-10 Thunderbolt II takes off on a mission against targets in Yugoslavia. The A-10 and OA-10 Thunderbolt IIs are 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. (U.S. Air Force photo)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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1990's -- 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. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Greg L. Davis)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM -- A-10 Thunderbolt IIs ares lined up on the flightline of Tallil Air Base in southern Iraq awaiting pilots. The aircraft are part of the 442nd Fighter Wing from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., which was deployed to Talli and Kirkuk Air Bases in 2003. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Terry L. Blevins)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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1970s -- The A-10 Thunderbolt in flight. (U.S. Air Force photo)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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An A-10 Thunderbolt II from the 355th Fighter Squadron at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, fires a 30mm GAU-8 Avenger seven-barrel Gatling gun over the Pacific Alaska Range Complex. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan Snyder)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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Senior Airman Troy Brown marshals an A-10 Thunderbolt II into a special area at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, for de-arming after a combat sortie. Airman Brown, assigned to the 81st Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit, is deployed from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jennifer Gurganus)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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Senior Airman Justin Lovejoy inspects the fuselage of an A-10 Thunderbolt II at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, while Staff Sgt. Isaac Ibarra inspects the wing during a thru-flight inspection. Up on one of the two engines, Staff Sgt. Shawn Mercier pulls an oil sample. The crew chiefs, assigned to the 81st Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit, are deployed from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Tom Bivens)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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Master Sgt. Vincent Jones, a KC-135 Stratotanker boom operator with the Arizona Air National Guard's 161st Air Refueling Wing based in Phoenix, refuels an A-10 Thunderbolt II April 29 from the 355th Fighter Wing at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Alesia Goosic)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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Four A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from the 355th Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., fly in formation over Arizona April 29. The A-10s received in-flight refueling from a KC-135 Stratotanker from the Arizona Air National Guard's 161st Air Refueling Wing based in Phoenix. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Alesia Goosic)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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Four A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from the 355th Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., fly in formation over Arizona April 29. The A-10s received in-flight refueling from a KC-135 Stratotanker from the Arizona Air National Guard's 161st Air Refueling Wing based in Phoenix. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Alesia Goosic)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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A-10 makes wheels-up landing at Edwards: An A-10 sits on the runway after making an emergency landing March 25 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The A-10 touched down with its landing gear in the up position after declaring an in-flight emergency. The pilot was not harmed. The aircraft, assigned to the 75th Fighter Squadron at Moody AFB, Ga., was participating in a Green Flag sortie out of Nellis AFB, Nev. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad White)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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An A-10 Thunderbolt II ground attack aircraft, similar to this one, provided close air support over Afghanistan. The digitally upgraded A-10 is equipped with satellite-guided precision weaponry and advanced communications data links for transferring information with ground-based warfighters. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Parker Gyokeres)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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Three A-10 Thunderbolt IIs fly in formation. A-10s provided close-air-support near Balad, Iraq. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christina D. Ponte)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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An A-10 Thunderbolt II moves into position behind a KC-135 Stratotanker on a combat mission over Afghanistan. The A-10 is deployed from the 442nd Fighter Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit based at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lt. Col. Marcel Dionne)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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An A-10 Thunderbolt II fires flares. A-10s conducted shows of force with flares to deter enemy activities in Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Chad Strohmeyer)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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The team working on the inactive A-10 Thunderbolt II winches the aircraft into the C-5 Galaxy for transport to the Robbins Air Force Base, Ga. Museum of Aviation Flight and Technology Center Oct. 6 on the flightline at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The aircraft was disassembled into six different sections in three days. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Hibbert)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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An A-10A Thunderbolt II aircraft flies over a target area during Operation Desert Storm. It was designed specially for the close-air-support mission and has the ability to combine large military loads, long loiter and wide combat radius, which proved to be vital assets to the United States and its allies during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Noble Anvil.

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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An A-10 Thunderbolt II from Nellis Air Force Base Nev., launches AGM-65 Maverick missiles at a simulated hostile target during the fire power demonstration Sept. 14 at the Nevada Test and Training Range. The demonstration gave the general public a close-up and realistic view into the Air Force's ability to perform its wartime mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Kenny Kennemer)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, like this one, carried out numerous close-air-support missions Sept. 12 for coalition forces engaged in Operation Enduring Freedom operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Parker Gyokeres)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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Range keepers help pilots stay combat ready: Maj. Aaron Linderman fires the 30-milimeter gun from an A-10 Thunderbolt II during a strafing run June 20 at Cannon Range near Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Major Linderman is an A-10 pilot from the 303rd Fighter Squadron. The 303rd FS is part of the Air Force Reserve's 442nd Fighter Wing based at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. The wing flies to Cannon Range virtually every day to ensure its pilots stay proficient in the close-air support mission the A-10 was designed for. Cannon Range, managed by the Missouri Air National Guard's 131st Fighter Wing, plays a crucial role in the training and readiness of pilots from Reserve, Guard and active-duty units from all over the United States. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. David Kurle)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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New and improved Thunderbolt IIs arrive at Moody: Lt. Col. Sam Milam taxies an A-10C Thunderbolt II to its new home Aug. 7 at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. This aircraft is the first of approximately 50 upgraded A-10Cs moving to Moody AFB as a part of a base realignment. The move is expected to be complete in early spring 2008 as aircraft are converted from A-10A to A-10C models. Colonel Milam is the 75th Fighter Squadron commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Parker Gyokeres)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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An A-10 Thunderbolt II prepares to make contact with a KC-10 Extender assigned to the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron during an Operation Enduring Freedom mission July 25. A-10s provide close-air support for both OEF and Operation Iraqi Freedom. KC-10s also offload fuel to coalition aircraft around the area of responsibility. Tankers offloaded two million pounds of fuel Aug. 2 to more than 175 aircraft. (U.S. Air Force by Airma 1st Class Matt Cook)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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Lt. Col. Quentin Rideout taxis his A-10 Thunderbolt II at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, July 31. The first two A-10s arrived at Eielson Dec. 18, 1981; the last two A-10s are set to leave Aug. 15 for Moody AFB, Ga., and Gowen Field, Idaho. Colonel Rideout is the 355th Fighter Squadron commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan Snyder)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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An A-10 Thunderbolt II prepares for a strafing run May 29 on the Pacific Alaska Range Complex in Alaska. The A-10 is assigned to the 355th Fighter Squadron from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The 355th FS is tasked to provide mission ready A-10s as well as search and rescue capability in Alaska and deployed sites worldwide. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan Snyder)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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Maintenance crews on the A-10 Thunderbolt II end their 12-hour duty day April 25 at the Al Asad Air Base, Iraq. The 438th Air Expeditionary Group A-10s perform 10 sorties daily providing top cover for ground forces in Iraq, with 900 sorties in this last four months. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr.)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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An A-10 Thunderbolt II takes off to provide close-air support to ground troops in Iraq April 25 from Al Asad Air Base, Iraq. The 438th Air Expeditionary Group A-10s perform 10 sorties daily, with 900 sorties in this last four months. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr.)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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Two A-10 Thunderbolt IIs fire AGM-65 Maverick missiles over the Pacific Alaska Range Complex April 24 during live-fire training. The A-10s are from the 355th Fighter Squadron from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Members from the 355th FS are tasked to provide mission ready A-10s and a search and rescue capability, in Alaska and deployed sites worldwide. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Robert Wieland)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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Two A-10 Thunderbolt IIs fly over the Pacific Alaska Range Complex April 24 during live-fire training. The A-10s are from the 355th Fighter Squadron from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Members from the 355th FS are tasked to provide mission ready A-10s and a search and rescue capability, in Alaska and deployed sites worldwide. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Robert Wieland)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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Capt. Dustin Ireland fires a missile as his A-10 Thunderbolt II breaks over the Pacific Alaska Range Complex April 24 during live-fire training. The Captain Reynolds is an A-10 pilot from the 355th Fighter Squadron from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Members from the 355th FS are tasked to provide mission ready A-10s and a search and rescue capability, in Alaska and deployed sites worldwide. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Robert Wieland)

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A-10 Thunderbolt II

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A-10 Thunderbolt IIs fly over the Pacific Alaska Range Complex April 24 during live-fire training. The A-10s are from the 355th Fighter Squadron from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Members from the 355th FS are tasked to provide mission ready A-10s and a search and rescue capability, in Alaska and deployed sites worldwide. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Robert Wieland)

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