Friday, October 17, 2008

Skies clear as Hawgsmoke 2008 gets into full swing

Blog Editor Note: For my readers in the mid-west, the frequencies for Hawg Smoke 2008 at posted at the end of the article below.

by Master Sgt. Bill Huntington, 442nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

An A-10 Thunderbolt II from the Michigan Air National Guard's 110th Fighter Wing, takes off from the Salina, Kan., airport Oct. 15 for an orientation flight over the nearby Smoky Hill bombing and gunnery range. Thirty A-10s from Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units across the country have converged on Salina for Hawgsmoke 2008, which will pit active-duty, Reserve and Guard pilots from 14 squadrons against each other in a bienniel bomb and gunnery competition. The competition will last through Oct. 18. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. David Kurle)

SALINA, Kan. (AFNS) -- With the arrival of the last group of A-10 Thunderbolt IIs late in the afternoon, Hawgsmoke 2008 got into full swing Oct. 15 as pilots flew out to the Kansas Air National Guard's Smoky Hill bomb and gunnery range nearby for range familiarization flights.

Clearing skies signaled the end of nearly two days of rain at the central Kansas location, as maintenance crews received the new arrivals while launching and recovering the local flights participating in the Air Force's biennial A-10 bombing and tactical gunnery competition.

As soon as the pilots stepped from the jets they were greeted by the supervisor of flying and transported to Hawgsmoke headquarters for an array of in-processing steps designed to make their arrival orderly, convenient and brief.

After storing their flight gear at the life support section, the pilots met with representatives from maintenance debriefing, supervisor of flying, maintenance operations control, command post, personnel support for contingency operations also known as PERSCO, and lodging.

During the maintenance debriefing, officials gleaned the data provided by the incoming pilots regarding maintenance issues and passed problems along to the maintainers who focused on getting the jets ready to fly again. Most aircraft were back in the air after only a brief time on the ground.

"[For Hawgsmoke], debrief has been combined with (the maintenance operations center)," said Senior Airman Kimberly Byers, 442nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron maintenance debriefer. "We've been getting [the pilot's] information about the incoming jets and now we are working on the sorties for the actual competition."

For having such a large influx of aircraft and crews in a very short time, things went well for Airman Byers. Her only challenge was learning the nuances of how each unit handled the data differently.

Ensuring the mission identifiers were closed out as the aircraft arrived was the first order of business for the command-post controllers at the next stop for each team. There activities were going as planned.

"Things have been pretty much been going by the book today," said Staff Sgt. Adrian Walker, 442nd Fighter Wing command-post controller. "I think we're doing very well."

PERSCO representatives checked in all new arrivals to maintain the personnel accountability of not only the pilots, but also maintenance and support personnel.

At the final stop a lodging representative made sure each pilot had comfortable living quarters during the competition.

The whole process was well orchestrated and, as a result, the pilots could focus on getting oriented to the new surroundings.

Pilots from 14 active-duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard squadrons are participating in Hawgsmoke 2008 and will share flight time in 30 A-10s supplied by Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units.

As the first full day of Hawgsmoke 2008 ended, an A-10 "missing- man" formation flew over the "Hog" pilots gathered at the edge of the Salina Airport flight line for a memorial service, which commemorated all A-10 pilots who have perished over the years since the aircraft first flew.

Milcom Monitoring Post Frequency Guide

Hawg Smoke Manual Frequencies

Bison 369.900

Hutchinson (Bison) 337.400/118.800
Topeka (Ft Riley) 343.700/123.800
Emporia 270.250/127.725

FM Guard 40.500
Forbes Tower 255.900/120.800
McConnell Tower 295.700/126.200
MCI Tower 267.900/118.100

Hawg Smoke Preset Frequencies
1 SOF (Ground HAWG) 227.800 138.125
2 Salina Ground 397.900 121.900
3 Salina Tower 257.700 119.300
4 Kansas City Center 363.200 134.900
5 Smoky Hill Range (BSA) 316.900 125.925
6 Smoky Hill Range (MOA/Mav tgt ops) 353.900
7 Salina ATIS 120.150
8 Flight Service 255.400 122.400
MID Radio Preset Frequencies 1-15 are the same as FRONT 1-15

CH Hawgsmoke A-10 Intraflights (MID Radio) MID
16 A-10 Intraflight 1 228.575
17 A-10 Intraflight 2 229.175
18 A-10 Intraflight 3 235.125
19 A-10 Intraflight 4 238.575
20 A-10 Intraflight 5 245.250

CH Hawgsmoke A-10 Intraflights (AFT Radio) AFT
15 A-10 Intraflight 1 138.400
16 A-10 Intraflight 2 149.525
17 A-10 Intraflight 3 149.100
18 A-10 Intraflight 4 139.800
19 A-10 Intraflight 5 139.625
20 A-10 Intraflight 5 149.250