Mechanics identify and repair mechanical problems on an assortment of vehicles and engines by removing and replacing worn-out parts, performing regularly scheduled maintenance and taking things apart and putting them back together.
A-10 Thunderbolt IIs are not immune to wear and tear and Airmen assigned to the 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron A-10 Phase section at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., are responsible for ensuring these aircraft uphold a war-ready status.
“We’re like every day mechanics except we get to work on planes,” said Airman 1st Class Arron Canady-Post, 355th EMS A-10 crew chief.
Every 500 hours each aircraft is sent to the phase hangar to be torn apart for an in-depth inspection.
“Roughly every 10-12 days an A-10 is brought in,” said Master Sgt. Benjamin Fultz, 355th EMS A-10 Phase Section chief, “During that time frame we remove the panels of the aircraft and every single component is looked at.”
“We go through the entire aircraft to find any discrepancy we can to prevent any sort of mishap either while landing, in the air, or taking off,” Canady-Post said. “We make sure the pilot has a sense of security when he goes up in the air and does his mission.”
A-10s are designed for close air support – its combination of large and diverse ordnance load, long loiter time, accurate weapons delivery, and austere field capability and survivability have proven to serve as reliable combat assets. Davis-Monthan AFB is home to the only formal A-10 training mission as well as an operational A-10 mission.
The Airmen assigned to the 355th EMS A-10 Phase section help ensure the aircraft operate at top efficiency, contributing to Davis-Monthan AFB’s high-end readiness and ability to deploy and defend.
“It’s a great jet, it’s older – but nothing matches it,” Canady-Post said.