BARKSDALE AFB, LA (KSLA) - The first wave of A-10 fighter jets have departed Barksdale Air Force Base for the last time.
The 917th Fighter Group at Barksdale began transferring its A-10 Thunderbolt II jets to other units on Monday morning, the result of an Air Force recommendation to transfer all of the aircraft from Barksdale by the end of fiscal year 2013 (September).
The first three of 24 total A-10s left at 9:30 a.m., one headed for the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. The other two will go to the 355th Fighter Wing, also located at Davis-Monthan.
A total of 24 aircraft will transfer to AMARG. Five are headed to the 442nd Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, and 17 will transfer to the 355th at Davis-Monthan.
The 917th and the 47th fighter Squadron at Barksdale will be deactivated. A deactivation date has not been set, but it is expected to occur sometime during the last three months of this year, according to the unit.
"The 917th Fighter Group proudly served our nation at Barksdale and deployed locations for over 50 years. It has been an honor to be a part of Team Barksdale and the local community," said Col. John Breazeale, commander of the 917th.