The heavily armed, heavily armored close-air-support aircraft has been a U.S. military mainstay for decades, and troops credit it with saving many lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
March 14, 2014 An A-10 Thunderbolt II piloted by Lt. Col. Paul Zurkowski of the Maryland Air National Guard prepares for a training mission at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River, Md. Zurkowski was one of two Maryland Air National Guard pilots awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor for their actions to save coalition troops who were in danger of being overrun by Taliban fighters in eastern Afghanistan last year. The Air Force plans to phase out the A-10s but is running into opposition in Congress. Linda Davidson/The Washington Post Buy Photo