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    Blacksnakes in action

    Blacksnakes in action

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Kathleen LaCorte | A U.S. Air Force pilot assigned to the 163rd Fighter Squadron, Indiana Air National...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Kathleen LaCorte 

    122nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

    AVON PARK AIR FORCE RANGE, Fla. – Indiana Air National Guardsmen assigned to the 122nd Fighter Wing here visited Avon Park Air Force Range, Feb.12, 2020 to watch A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft train for close air support.

    U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Owen Reus, 122nd Fighter Wing crew chief, watched the A-10C’s in action at the bombing range, which has been used to train bombers since World War II.

    “We are maintainers, we work on the plane, and we send them off and then we don’t get to see them,” said Reus. “It was really cool seeing all the work and effort that we’ve put into maintaining our aircraft and seeing it all come together and what they do when we’re not there.”

    David Briley, Avon Park Air Force Range control officer, explained that the range is 106,000 acres of pure training opportunity for nearly every kind of aircraft.

    “It’s a great place, all the aircraft love to come here," said Briley. “We try to give them the basic rules, get out of the way and let them train.”

    The Blacksnake A-10C maintainers were pleasantly surprised by an unexpected twist when they were told that one of the aircraft flying that morning was one that they had been working on all week. The maintainers had torn it down, performed inspections, and replaced broken components. The maintenance on the aircraft had consumed much of their time that week, but was now back on the flying schedule.

    “It’s been broken the whole week and today was the first day it was flying again,” said Reus. “It’s very rewarding seeing it in the air, but I didn’t know it was flying today until I got word from people back at base. So that was even more rewarding to me to see it be able to fire and drop bombs.”

    The chance to watch the A-10C in action gave Senior Airman Adam Bollman, 122nd Fighter Wing crew chief, a fresh perspective.

    “When aircraft leave us they have all of their munitions, then when they come back, they don’t, so you know, we don’t really see the in-between,” said Bollman. “Day to day, you feel like you kind of lose sight of what you’re doing but when you get to watch these pilots and their training it all kind of comes together.”

    It was clear that Briley’s vison for the range “to get out of the way and let them train” was in full force as the aircraft engaged their targets while the Blacksnakes looked on.

    “I’ve seen it before in videos, but it’s different when you’re in person,” said Reus.



    Date Taken: 02.12.2020
    Date Posted: 10.17.2021 15:34
    Story ID: 404816
    Location: AVON PARK, FL, US 
    Hometown: FORT WAYNE, IN, US

    Web Views: 58
    Downloads: 0