by Tech. Sgt. Kent Kagarise
442nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Maj. Matt Lackey and Capt. David Nagel, 357th Fighter Squadron from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base accept the Al "Mud" Moore Trophy for Top Overall A-10 unit during Hawgsmoke, Aug. 17. Hawgsmoke is an international biennial competition, with approximately 15 A-10 units competing. The host unit was Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Az. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Lauren Padden) Hi-res
8/21/2012 - DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- The 357th Fighter Squadron was the first active duty squadron to win the Al "Mud" Moore top overall A-10 unit trophy, Aug. 17, during Hawgsmoke, Aug. 14-18, 2012 -- an international A-10 Thunderbolt II biennial gunnery competition held at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
60 sorties were scored based on pilot accuracy in bombing, strafing and first-run attacks. The trophy was presented by Col. Kevin Blanchard, 355th Fighter Wing and Davis-Monthan base commander.
"It's awesome for the dragons to be able to attain the trophy and display their training efforts," Blanchard said.
He added the geographical location of Davis-Monthan is conducive to what has become a winning tradition.
"We have the best weather and training air space in the United States," he said. "We can squeeze in more quality hog training here than any other base."
Capt. Dave Nagle, 357th FS weapons officer and flight lead, said the team's success revolved around solid mission preparation and diligent groundwork.
"We are the first active-duty fighter squadron to ever win Hawgsmoke and to do it here as the home team, in our house for a second time is special," Nagle said. "Look at the plaques and trophies we are taking home tonight and it's clear we may have formed a culture of domination when it comes to Hawgsmoke."
Maj. Matt Lackey, 357th flight commander, attributed the victory to his eight years of disciplined A-10 flying.
"You know you're doing something right when you get to experience something like this," Lackey said. "It's a culmination of training, a little bit of luck and most importantly we had the right flight leadership."
Capt. Eric Hart, 357th FS assistant director of operations, won the top attack pilot trophy and said the key to his success was the team that surrounded him.
"I can't say enough about the outstanding flight leadership provided by Capt. Nagle," Hart said. "He put us in a position to succeed."
Capt. Sam Moreland, 357th FS chief of scheduling, was the fouth member of the active-duty team who played a key role in the victory.
"He couldn't be at the award ceremony, but I want to make sure he gets credit because it took every individual coming together for us to take home the hardware," Nagle said.
Hart has been in the military 17 years and said flying the A-10 never gets old.
"There are always new challenges and when we all get together every other year it's good to have a showing from active-duty, Guard and Reserve where we can discuss how those challenges are overcome."
Nagle expressed his thanks to the sponsors and the involvement of the Tucson, Ariz. community for helping make Hawgsmoke 2012 happen.
"It's invaluable to have every fighter squadron from the A-10 world all in one central location, and without the sponsors none of this could happen," Nagle said.
Blanchard declared the week's events a huge success.
"Anytime we can get warriors together to share their stories it can't help but to make everybody better," Blanchard said.
Hawgsmoke 2012 participants:
354th FS Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
25th FS Osan Air Base, South Korea
45th FS Davis Monthan AFB, Ariz.
47th FS Barksdale AFB, La.
70th FS Moody AFB, Ga.
74th FS Moody AFB, Ga.
75th FS Moody AFB, Ga.
76th FS Moody AFB, Ga.
81st FS Spangdahlem AB, Germany
107th FS Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich.
118th FS Bradley ANGB, Conn.
172nd FS Battle Creek ANGB, Mich.
190th FS Gowen Field Air National Guard Base, Idaho
303rd FS Whiteman AFB, Mo.
355th FS Eielson AFB, Alaska
357th FS Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
358th FS Davis Monthan AFB, Ariz.
Source (including 1 photo)