Pope says goodbye to last A-10s
by Staff Sgt. Cassandra Locke
43rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
12/21/2007 - POPE AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. (AFPN) -- Pope Air Force Base officials held a Dec. 19 ceremony to say goodbye to their last three A-10 Thunderbolt IIs as the aircraft took off here and flew to Moody AFB, Ga.
The reorganization of aircraft is designed to mitigate Air Force hardship from the shrinking budget.
To preserve the heritage of the Flying Tigers, Moody AFB's previous 347th Rescue Wing deactivated and the 23rd Wing activated in its place. Moody AFB is now the host base of the 23rd Wing, adopting the banner of the Flying Tigers.
The unit carries the name and heritage of the renowned Flying Tigers, which fought against the Japanese in World War II. The unit earned fame by advancing tactically against Japan's multiple successes early in the war.
The Flying Tigers flew a number of different aircraft at different bases around the country until they moved to Pope AFB in 1992. As the 23rd Wing at Pope AFB, they originally flew the C-130 Hercules, F-16 Fighting Falcon and the A-10 as the Air Force's first air-land composite wing. The F-16s left in 1997 and the 23rd converted from a wing to a fighter group and became a Pope AFB warfighting partner.
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