While all members of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., have maintained our mission of sustaining attack airpower, a select group of Airmen have been preparing for an additional mission; demonstrating the capabilities of the A-10C Thunderbolt II.
The A-10C Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team will perform demos for the first time in seven years for the 2018 air show season. The A-10 will be one of three single-ship aerial demonstration teams in Air Combat Command.
“It’s humbling to be selected as the team to bring back the A-10 demo,” said Master Sgt. Derek Allen, A-10C Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team superintendent. “We are all excited to get back out there to not only showcase the capabilities of the A-10, but also the professionalism of all the men and women of Air Combat Command.”
The team consists of one pilot, one superintendent, a noncommissioned officer-in-charge, three crew chiefs, an avionics systems specialist, aerospace propulsion systems specialist, electrical and environmental systems specialist, and a public affairs specialist.
The team’s pilot for the season is Capt. Cody Wilton. Wilton is a prior-enlisted officer with more than 1,300 hours flying the A-10 and has 17 years of active duty service.
“To be selected to represent the finest attack pilots and maintainers in the Air Force is a unique opportunity and a privilege we don’t take lightly,” Wilton said.
Wilton has been going through extensive training to be certified as the A-10 Demo Team pilot. This training includes 17 syllabus sorties, with four required certification flights, and three off-station training flights.
“The demonstration pilot upgrade syllabus is one of the more challenging upgrades I’ve taken part in,” Wilton said. “The maneuvers are not the typical maneuvers flown on a normal training mission, and to do them consistently at such a low altitude takes a lot of practice and film review.”
He will receive his final certification from Gen. Mike Holmes, ACC commander, during the Heritage Flight Training Course at Davis-Monthan AFB, Feb. 28-March 4. Upon completion of the course, Wilton will be certified to fly with World War II and Korean War-era aircraft.
The A-10 Demo Team originally consisted of two east and west counterparts before both were deactivated in 2011. The A-10 flew in heritage flight formations in 2012 and 2017 before reactivating as a single-ship demonstration for 2018.
The A-10C Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team is scheduled to fly at 20 airshows throughout the U.S., Canada and Korea, with the first show of the season at Luke AFB, Arizona, March 17-18.
“As members of the 354th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, we will showcase the Bulldog attack mission to everyone who comes out to our shows,” Allen said. “You can expect to see and meet the best single-ship demonstration team the Air Force has to offer. Pride, professionalism, and excellence is what we bring with us wherever we go.”
The A-10 Demo Team will highlight the aircraft’s unique capabilities such as rapid roll rates, low and high speed maneuverability, and short takeoffs and landings, which all make the A-10 a premier close air support asset.
For more information on the A-10 Demo Team and to view the team’s full schedule, please visit http://www.acc.af.mil/Home/Aerial-Events/A-10-Heritage-Team/.