The top team at Hawgsmoke 2008, flown out over the Smoky Hill Range near Salina, Kan., last week, is the 190th Fighter Squadron of the Idaho Air National Guard. Air Force Reserve Command’s 442nd Fighter Wing at Whiteman AFB, Mo., hosted the biennial A-10 bombing and gunnery competition, which featured 14 A-10 squadrons from active, Air Guard, and AFRC units around the country. The 50 pilots and some 400 maintenance and support airmen shared 30 Air Guard and AFRC A-10s because the on-going mandatory inspection of thin-skin wing A-10s reduced the number of available aircraft. According to event organizer Lt. Col. Brian Borgen, the choice of Salina couldn’t have been better. He said, “The City of Salina and the people here have been absolutely outstanding in their support of Hawgsmoke.” Competition planners provided visitors and journalists a prime viewing spot. As winner of the 2008 event, the 190th FS and its parent 124th Wing at Boise will host and select the location for the 2010 Hawgsmoke. (442nd FW report by Maj. David Kurle)
An Air Force C-17 transport jet recently tested a new technology that could help aviators stay on course even if the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) that much of modern-day aviation relies on is compromised.