The 354th Fighter Squadron hosted an A-10 Thunderbolt II agile combat employment immersion at Volk Field Air National Guard Base, Wisc., May 20, 2021.
The immersion brought several Airmen from different Air Force bases and career fields together in order to demonstrate the mission of the A-10 as well as identify the unique ways in which all Airmen contribute to its success.
“We have airmen from all over that we’re trying to reach and bring them into the fold of the A-10,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Natalie Thompson, 355th Operations Support Squadron chief controller tower. “We’re trying to show how what they do on a daily basis contributes to the overall mission.”
The immersion was held in conjunction with Air Mobility Command’s Mobility Guardian 2021, a large-scale rapid global mobility exercise that brings Airmen from around the Air Force together in support of operational readiness.
“It’s a unique opportunity to have so many different Airmen from so many different bases understand why they’re here,” said Thompson. “We have Airmen from all the different Air Force Specialty Codes, major commands and service components to capitalize on that opportunity.”
After receiving a brief on the A-10’s capabilities, the Airmen went through a series of integrations with the 355th OSS Aircrew Flight Equipment section and the 354th Aircraft Maintenance Unit in order to get an up close and personal look at flight line and attack aircraft operations.
“We got a generalization of what they do and how we all play a part in what they do,” said Airman Quantabius Baker, 355th Logisitics Readiness Squadron petroleum, oil and lubricant fuels distributor. “We basically learned all our parts and how we’re all tied in.”
After the Airmen received a firsthand look at the A-10, they were asked to think about their individual contributions to the attack mission, and how the loss of even one component can adversely affect mission effectiveness and readiness.
“It makes me kind of glad that I’m doing my job,” said Baker. “As a POL, you can get caught up in how repetitive the job is. To think that you’re actually putting fuel into something that can help other people save lives; it just makes you think that it’s way bigger than yourself.”
This immersion further amplifies Mobility Guardian 2021 by helping Airmen understand the value of different career fields and the necessity of fulfilling those roles if they become vacant or shortfalled while in a contested environment.
“We as individuals have a lot to learn from every other person’s field,” said Baker. “There’s the fact that you can take a small group of individuals from each group and send them to a location and they can still get the job done; I definitely believe that we can.”
While the pilot may be the most visible aspect of the A-10’s mission, it takes the focused efforts of all hands to pull off these audacious tasks. The Dynamic Wing concept requires multi-capable airmen to go beyond their AFSCs in order to create a dynamic team of lethal, agile and resilient airmen ready to outthink, outmaneuver, and outfight our nation’s enemies.
It’s immersions like these that showcase how vital the individual contributions of Airmen are to realizing the vision of the 355th Wing, helping our nation compete, and ultimately accomplishing the rescue and attack mission anywhere in the world whenever the need arises.