July 25, 2014
Moody AFB, GA - "Ha, there's definitely some pressure", says Staff Sergeant Christopher Tarbart. He and other members of the 23d Maintenance Group at Moody competed Friday to see who could load weapons on to an A-10 Thunderbolt the fastest.
A crew from each Aircraft Maintenance Unit was hand chosen to compete against each other, in front of a packed house.
"These guys don't get to be in the lime-light all that much. They're out there on the flight line and they're working hard, and they're getting the job done, so it's nice to be able to let their hair down a little bit, and show our skills off to the community", says Adam Wright, Load Standardization Crew Chief.
Wright says Moody periodically holds these Weapons Load Competitions as a friendly way of keeping the crews competitive and to be sure that they can perform these duties under various conditions.
During the Competition, crews aren't only tested on their speed, but also their accuracy and their dress... he says team work is a big piece of the puzzle.
"Well, they always teach us no faster than safe. So, if you can go fast, and still keep it safe, then good on you, if you can't, and you've got to slow down a little bit so you don't miss anything, then that's what you've got to do", says Tarbart.
Tarbart's crew, the 74th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, ultimately found that balance between accuracy and speed, and won the competition.
Tarbart and Wright say the A-10 is the only air-craft they've ever worked with. They told us it's reliable and safe, and they'd hate to see it go.