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Final flight of the 354th Bulldogs

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The 354th Fighter Squadron and 354th Fighter Generation Squadron generated their last A-10C Thunderbolt II sortie here June 21.

The “fini flight,” which was flown by Lt. Col. Patrick Chapman, commander of the 354th Fighter Squadron, occurred ahead of the inactivation of both of squadrons which will take place in September of this year.

The inactivation of the 354th FS and 354th FGS comes as their assigned A-10s are divested as part of the Air Force’s modernization efforts, and as the base makes way for the planned arrival of the 492nd Special Operations Wing.

As the final aircraft touched down, members of the 354th FS and 354th FGS reflected on the many missions and exercises the squadrons have supported. One such exercise, Cope Thunder 23-2, took place at multiple bases throughout the Philippines in preparation for the first Air Force Force Generation cycle.

“Being able to quickly generate aircraft, like deploying to the Philippines and moving assets to an area that we haven’t been to, set us up for success,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jacob Branson, 354th FGS dedicated crew chief.

The Bulldogs last deployment was to Al Dhafra Air Base from October 2023 to April 2024 in support of the first AFFORGEN cycle and was instrumental in developing attack leaders and deploying combat airpower.

“Our most recent deployment was an operationally challenging one,” said Chapman. “I'm proud of the ops and the maintenance team for stepping up to meet those challenges, which ultimately protected coalition lives during a very turbulent time in the Middle East.”

As part of the inactivation, assignment teams will work with pilots and maintainers to determine new assignments based on what is best for each member’s career development, to include transitioning to different weapons systems.