* During the Vietnam War, the US Air Force (USAF) and the US Army engaged in an extended dispute over ownership of the battlefield "close air support (CAS)" mission. The Air Force prevailed, which then put the service in the position of obtaining the right tools for the job. The conflict demonstrated that the tools the USAF possessed left something to be desired, and after the war the Air Force conducted a very well managed program to develop a specialized CAS attack aircraft, with a strong focus on the anti-armor mission.
The solution emerged as the inelegant but formidable and very well thought-out Fairchild "A-10", better known as the "Warthog" or simply "Hog". Although the Air Force had misgivings about the Hog that led the service to consider withdrawing it from frontline operations in the late 1980s, it proved its value in the Gulf War in 1991 and in the series of dirty little wars that followed. This document provides a history and description of the A-10.