During the massive 14-nation military exercise known as Saber Strike four Air Force A-10 pilot were able to participate in training that has not been done since the Cold War.
Four A-10 Thunderbold II aircraft from the 127th Wing, Michigan Air National Guard landed safely on a remote highway in the small Baltic country of Estonia.
According to a DoD news release, the pilots just finished a close-air-support missing during the U.S. Army led exercise in conjunction with joint terminal attack controllers (JTACs) – service members who direct the action of combat aircraft and other offensive air operations from a forward position.
Highway landings were more prevalent during Cold War training scenarios. It was assumed airfields would be destroyed early on because their locations are mostly public information.
Contingency plans would have called for the use of highway landings strips if the Cold War ever went from cold to hot.
According to the Washington Post, highway landing training ended after the Soviet Union collapsed but as the United States become increasingly wary of a reinvigorated Russia, NATO will be calling referring back to the old Cold War playbook.
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