OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The 51st Maintenance Group developed a new approach to weapon loading operations expanding innovation Nov. 2.
In order to minimize the down time of an A-10 Thunderbolt II during exercise and real-world contingencies, crews performed loading operations after refueling while aircraft engines were running.
“This is the first of its kind here,” said Master Sgt. Brian Marchand, 51st MXG A-10 loading standardization team chief. “The quicker we load the aircraft while it’s on the ground, the faster we can get it back into the fight.”
Under this new method, the crew loaded more munitions in less time than the average time allotted to perform standard operations.
“This was a much faster process than the method we use now,” said Master Sgt. Paul Livaudais, 51st MXG weapons standardization superintendent. “With this new way we did it in about an hour and loaded six bombs along with 1,150 rounds of ammo and previously we would only load four bombs.”
After collecting data from this new method, the group plans to continue working toward new operations.
“With the data we ended up collecting today, we will be talking to other A-10 units within the Air Force and see if they’re doing similar tactics,” said Marchand. “Next, we will see if we can compare notes and maybe fine-tune our operations and make this process better for our Airmen.”