The A-10 Thunderbolt entered the service of the US airforce on May 1st 1977. The plane was specially designed for close air support. It included a specially designed vulcan gun and 10 anti tank missiles. The plane is especailly armored and designed to withstand ground attack. The plane had been only reluctantly developed by the Air Force which traditional shunned its ground support roll. The plane and its crews performed vital support missions in both the Gulf War and the War of Iraqi Freedom.