BARKSDALE AFB, LA (KSLA) - The last of the A-10s have departed Barksdale Air Force Base, bringing the 917th Fighter Group one step closer to ending an era at the base.
Three A-10s, assigned to the 917th Fighter Group, 47th Fighter Squadron took off Monday morning, headed for Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona.
Monday's departure completes the transfer of all 24 A-10 Thunderbolt II jet aircraft from the 917th Fighter Group to other units.
The first of the official transfers of the 24 A-10s began in April, the result of an Air Force recommendation to transfer all of the aircraft from Barksdale by the end of fiscal year 2013 (September).
The final three transfers were aircraft, 79-0153, piloted by Col. John Breazeale, Commander, 917th Fighter Group, 79-0154, piloted by Major Mark Wendrock, and 79-0146, piloted by Capt. Taylor Petty, both from the 47th Fighter Squadron.
Of the total 24 aircraft, two A-10s transferred to (AMARG), five to the 442nd Fighter Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., and 17 to the 355th Fighter Wing, at Davis-Monthan AFB.
In addition to the loss of aircraft, the recent Force Structure Action Implementation Plan inactivates the 917 FG and the 47th Fighter Squadron at Barksdale, which will take place the end of September. This closing will take approximately 580 full and part time jobs from Barksdale.
In a statement first released in April, 917th Commander, Col. John Breazeale said, "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."