Tag Archives: CAS

354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron Unit Coin (Ver. 1)

Based from their headquarters on Davis-Mothan Air Force Base, the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron (EFS) supports air missions in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Afghanistan. Previously in 2011, the 354th EFS spent a six-month rotation in Kandahar completing over 10k Close Air Support (CAS) flight hours leveraging their critical firepower in assistance of ground troops. [1] During the same time period the “Bulldog” squadron flew more sorties per day, per aircraft, than any other air-to-ground unit in the region. As recently as late September 2012, the 354th EFS was again identified by plane spotters in Arizona departing on what is assumed their second tour to Afghanistan, with hopefully similar success. [2]

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A-10 “Thunderbolt” II from DM

The principle platform of the 354th EFS is the A-10 “Warthog” II (or “Thunderbolt”), given the protruding 30mm GAU-8/A seven barrel Gatling gun under the nose of the aircraft. Jokingly, the A-10 may never win a beauty pageant, but because of its ability to loiter at very low speeds and provide withering CAS against enemy positions, the A-10 has often been a welcomed sight for many in the field. Initially fielded in 1978, the A-10 has experienced a renewed lease on life since the first Gulf War, where it lived up to its design as a tank-buster and provided CAS in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Today, the A-10 flown by the 354th EFC is the “C” model as evident by various sensor pods added to the airframe that enhance the A-10 as technology has advanced over the A-10s service life.

Obverse

354th EFS – Obverse

For their current deployment, and first of two challenge coin versions, the 354th EFS chose a silver unit challenge coin to represent their mission while in Afghanistan. On the Obverse is a silver textured A-10 “Warthog” on top of a tan-colored representation of Afghanistan with a single star for “Bagram” identified. Above Afghanistan is the motto “Attack” in red lettering; while the outer edge is a deep blue with “Enduring Freedom” written on the top half, and “Close Air Support” along the bottom (both these outer phrases are separated by a single silver star on either side).

 

 

  

 

Reverse

354th EFS – Reverse

On the Reverse the 354th EFS mascot appears in the coin’s center. A large silver bulldog’s head is represented with red eyes and blood running from its mouth. Above the bulldog’s head is another smaller A-10 from the front so as to appear in the attack position; while above the aircraft is written “Dogs of War”. Naturally this symbolizes the unit’s “Bulldog” wing while below the head is written 354th EFS identifying the coin’s parent unit. As on the opposite side, another blue band runs the outer edge, this time with “Helping the enemy” written on the top half and “Die for his country” on the bottom. Again a silver star on each side separates both phrases.

 

 

Works Cited

1. Duncan, Capt. Kristen D. “10K flight hours amid landmark OEF tour for 354th EFS.” Warthog News: The Ultimate Modern A-10 Thunderbolt II Reference. 451st AEW Public Affairs. January 4, 2010. http://warthognews.blogspot.com/2010/01/10k-flight-hours-amid-landmark-oef-tour.html (accessed December 22, 2012).

2. Jacob, Joachim. “354th EFS A-10Cs caught on departure from D-M for Afghanistan deployment.” Warthog News: The Ultimate Modern A-10 Thunderbolt II Reference. Warthog News Editor. September 26, 2012. http://warthognews.blogspot.com/2012/10/354th-efs-10cs-caught-on-departure-from.html (accessed December 20, 2012).

3. The Offical Website of the U.S. Air Force. “A-10 Thunderbolt II.” Factsheet. U.S. Air Force. September 9, 2012. http://www.af.mil/information/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=70 (accessed December 20, 2012).

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