Every two years the A-10 community gets together for the Hawgsmoke competition. I covered it again for GAR and you can see the piece I wrote here. The first day we were there was the arrival day. The plan had been to watch some landings and then to move to the parking ramp area. As it happened, we couldn’t get too close to the runway and some of the arrivals were delayed so we headed to the ramp instead which proved to be a good choice. The A-10s were coming in from the various units.
Initially he team were a little concerned about how we could access the area while the jets were on the move but we gradually got more access as they got more confident in us staying in the right places. The jets were taxiing along the outsides and then parking facing inwards. Consequently, we could be in between the rows and out of the way of the aircraft on the move. As more jets were parked up, we could move further out towards to the taxiway and closer to the arriving aircraft. It all worked pretty well.
Once the jets were on the ground the ground crews were straight into action taking off he baggage pods and starting to load up with practice bombs ready for the range slots that were to come as the exercise got underway. Most of the jets were parked outside the sun shelters so the crews were getting pretty hot as they worked. Plenty of coolers of water were on hand to keep them in good shape. This was a good start to the coverage of the exercise from my perspective.