by Tech. Sgt. Kent Kagarise
442nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
8/21/2012 - DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB, Ariz. -- Approximately 25 maintainers from the 442nd Maintenance Group went to Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., Aug. 15 to participate in Hawgsmoke, an A-10 Thunderbolt II biennial gunnery competition, Aug. 14-18.
The work rarely stops for the 442nd maintainers, who work together to ensure the combat readiness of the wing and collaborate to ensure pilot and asset safety and sustainability from the beginning of the mission to the end.
"Coming out here to Arizona allows us to do what we do best in an environment that doesn't have the added pressure that comes along with an extensive operational readiness inspection," said Senior Master Sgt. Aaron McRoberts, a 442nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron flight chief.
Being able to participate in Hawgsmoke is something the maintainers do not take lightly and many look forward to being involved with the competition.
"I work alongside so many talented individuals, so to be chosen out of such a large pool of high performers brings a great deal of self pride," said Senior Airman Todd Regas, 442nd AMXS crew chief.
While Hawgsmoke can provide long work hours, for some, it's also an opportunity to take advantage of a different location to unwind and reflect.
"It's a good trip with a small group of people and gives you a chance to get to know some of the newer folks," said Tech. Sgt. Chris Barton, 442nd AMXS crew chief.
For Airmen who are new to the Air Force, like Airman 1st Class Vince Sexton, Hawgsmoke allows reservists to apply their recently acquired knowledge at a different base in a competitive atmosphere.
"I've only been in the Air Force for five months so this is a tremendous opportunity to get out," said Airman 1st Class Vince Sexton, 442nd AMXS crew chief. "I get to learn from other units and see how they do things."