Wednesday, February 15, 2012

188th In Ariz., Preparing For Afghanistan

More Than 250 Members Train With Live Bombs

40/29 News
POSTED: 11:34 pm CST February 14, 2012
UPDATED: 11:41 pm CST February 14, 2012

FORTH SMITH, Ark. -- Members of the 188th Fighter Wing started their training with their A-10's out in Tucson, Ariz., on Tuesday ahead of their tour of duty in Afghanistan.

More than 250 members of the 188th were already in Tucson training with live bombs to prepare for Operation Snowbird.

More than 250 men and women with the 188th are out West again training with live bombs.

"Everyone gets a chance, from the maintenance, maintainers who build the bombs, from the ones that load the bombs, to the pilots who get to drop the live bombs," said Lt. Col. Mark Isenhower.

Isenhower said this trip is a great opportunity for the members of the Air Guard's Fighter Wing to practice techniques.

The colonel said their A-10's are headed to Afghanistan to provide support on the ground for the troops.

"We'll support them in any manner, from just being a presence, to flying over and going a show of force all the way, to dropping bombs, if necessary," Isenhower said.

The colonel said they are expected to be in Tucson for the next two weeks.

This summer's deployment for the 188th may be its last flying the A-10. A possible new flying mission was announced this year as part of the budget cuts from the Department of Defense.

The group trying to save the Flying Razorbacks said they've collected more than 600 letters so far toward their letter-writing campaign.


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