Friday, April 30, 2010

74 FS produces record-breaking 205 sorties in three days

Released today by 23rd Wing Public Affairs:

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Lt. Col. James Clark, 74th Fighter Squadron commander, does his preflight check before take off during a surge operation here April 27, 2010. The 74th FS set a goal of flying nearly 140 sorties in three days. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Wiseman) Hi-res

4/30/2010 - MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The 74th Fighter Squadron recently conducted surge operations from April 26 to 28 with a goal at the end of the three days to fly 174 sorties.

The squadron's main focus during the surge operations was to test their capability to produce as many sorties within the three-day span and to simulate pilots' war-time flying rates. A successfully generated flight is considered to be a single sortie.

"Conducting surge operations is a great opportunity to build morale while at the same time prepares our personnel for deployments," said Capt. Jeremy Jacobson, 74th Aircraft Maintenance Unit officer in-charge. "In addition, it helps increase flying hours and sorties as well as pushes the limits of pilots, maintainers and support functions."

During the surge, the squadron produced a total of 205 sorties--38 sorties more than originally planned.

"I've been flying this jet since 1996 and I've never seen a unit produce this many sorties," said Lt. Col. James Clark, 74th Fighter Squadron commander and A-10C Thunderbolt II pilot.

To accomplish the 205 sorties, each pilot spent at least five hours a day flying the aircraft.

"Most pilots were flying three lines a day and would turn over the aircraft so another pilot could fly two more sorties," said Captain Jacobson. "It's so impressive to have observed the continuous efforts of everyone to help generate as many sorties as possible."

The surge was not only a test to see how many sorties could be produced, but a learning tool for maintainers as well.

"It is an opportunity for maintainers to test their learned skills," said Chief Master Sgt. Charles Townes Jr., 74th Aircraft Maintenance Unit superintendent. "When they see the number of aircraft they launched during the three days, they see the fruits of their labor and realize how vital they are to the mission. It also reminds them that as a team they can accomplish anything."

Although the surge lasted for only three days, it took two months of preparation to organize the event.

"We made sure that everyone was up-to-date in all of their training," said Captain Jacobson. "All of our A-10s also went through early maintenance so they would be ready to fly during the three days."

After the successful three days and months of planning, Captain Jacobson said it was the hard work and dedication that made the execution of the surge possible.

"We have far exceeded our goals and I want to thank everyone for their hard work," he said.

The 74th FS will use the surge operations event as a template for the upcoming Phase II Operational Readiness Exercises.

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Tech. Sergeant Michael Taylor, 74th Fighter Squadron crew chief, prepares to launch an A-10C Thunderbolt II during the 74th FS surge operations here April 27, 2010. The surge operation's main focus was to test sortie production capability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Wiseman) Hi-res

Also associated to this news article is the following picture, but already taken during a training mission March 16, 2010:

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Two A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft fly in formation during a training exercise here March 16, 2010. The 74th Fighter Squadron performed surge operations to push its support function to the limit and simulate pilots' war-time flying rates. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Wiseman) Hi-res

Note: The aircraft are A-10C 81-0967 (foreground) from the 74th Fighter Squadron, and A-10 C 81-0957 from the 75th Fighter Squadron, carrying Sniper XR targeting pod on station 2.


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