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The Killer Bees
Flying from its main installation at Trapani Air Base, Sicily and a forward location at Taszar Air Base, Hungary, the A-10s of the 104th Expeditionary Operations Group (EOG) were known as the "Killer Bees." They belonged to a composite or "rainbow" Air National Guard (ANG) unit composed of personnel and aircraft from the 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts, the 110th Fighter Wing at Battle Creek, Michigan, and the 124th Wing at Boise, Idaho. The 104th EOG also included active duty Air Force members who were responsible for base operating support functions. The 104th EOG was formed as a temporary composite unit because no single ANG fighter wing possessed enough A-10s to meet the wartime requirements for Operation Allied Force, the war for Kosovo. The unit flew 439 combat sorties expending 64 AGM-65 "Maverick" air-to-surface missiles, 539 MK-82 free-fall non-guided general purpose 500-pound bombs, 49 CBU-87 "Combined Effects Munitions," and over 14,300 rounds of 30mm ammunition while attacking enemy military convoys, armor, artillery, supply storage areas, and ammunition storage sites. Its pilots also flew combat search and rescue as well as airborne forward air control missions. The 104th EOG accumulated 3,300 flying hours in 45 days during may and June without losing a single pilot or aircraft. The employment of composite units was an increasingly important element of efforts by the ANG and the Air Force to adapt to the complexities of the post Cold War environment.