A mini-documentary about the A-10 Warthog providing close air support in Afghanistan has been released to the public.
The 21-minute documentary, “Grunts in the Sky: The A-10 in Afghanistan,” was made public after the Facebook group “Air Force amn/nco/snco” received the footage through a Freedom of Information Act request last year, The Drive reported.
The documentary combines footage gathered by an Air Force combat camera during the summer fighting season of 2014.
According to Military.com, the Air Force did not fulfill the Freedom of Information Act request, but still the video appears online.
Since the creation of the documentary several years ago, the Air Force has tried to suppress the video amid pushes to try and retire the A-10 in favor of other aircraft, such as the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The Air Force initially claimed that they could not release the video for security reasons. According to The Drive, there are three versions of the documentary online that have different edits.
However, due to Congressional support and support from troops on the ground, the A-10 will continue to serve for the foreseeable future. Several squadrons could be grounded and retired, though, if a re-winging effort is not made to get the A-10s back in the skies.
The documentary features interviews with fighter pilots who fly the A-10 and have had experience giving support to ground troops. U.S. soldiers are also interviewed, and they describe what it’s like to have the A-10 above them.
“To have boots on the ground, you need support and you need the right kind of support to have boots on the ground,” Air Force Technical Sgt. Sean Deam, a JTAC, says in the documentary. “It’s the A-10, honestly.”
Here is the documentary: