To bring the story of "Hogs in the Sand" to life, we present some photos of the author's life in England, the squadron's deployment to the desert, and what life was like for the pilots who flew the mighty Warthog in Operation Desert Storm.
RAF Alconbury was home to two squadrons of A-10s, the 509th and 511th Tactical Fighter Squadrons. It was also home to a squadron of U-2 spyplanes.
A single runway bisected the base. In this photo, the 511th Vultures squadron buildings were on the far side of the runway. Note the numerous hardened aircraft shelters (HASs).
A ground-level look at some of the many HASes scattered all over the airfield. Two A-10s fit in each HAS, stacked nose-to-tail.
The 511th squadron operated two main Ops buildings -- our normal, unhardened, peacetime building, seen here...
... and a hardened, bomb-resistant building where we would operate if things ever got ugly with the Soviets. (2015 photo.)
We also had a squadron bar called the Pig Sty, inside this WWII-era Quonset hut. (This photo is from 2015, but it looked about the same in 1988.)
King Fahd International Airport (KFIA), Saudi Arabia, the largest airport in the world at the time. It was our home away from home for 6 months.
A look across the flightline at KFIA, showing the tall steel revetment walls that separated our airplanes. The terminal building, tower, and mosque are in the background. Also visible are Army C-12s and OV-1 Mohawks that shared our ramp.
Tent City and Vulture Boulevard, during the war. (After the war, the dirt street was actually paved!) The tents were air-conditioned, and were reasonable comfortable. At this phase of the war, we hadn't yet built much in the way of fancy bunkers, decks, tent entrance portals, or other niceties.
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