Taken on Jul. 20, 2017 during a training mission, the impressive video in this post features Major Brett Devries, belonging to the 107th Fighter Squadron from the 127th Wing, successfully landing his A-10 Thunderbolt II with neither a canopy nor fully engaged landing gear. As we have previously reported, the Hog’s canopy, and use of the landing gear, were lost following a gun misfire, while conducting a training mission at the Grayling Air Gunnery Range.
As the footage shows, while DeVries was flying the A-10 during the emergency, he relied heavily on his wingman, then-Maj. Shannon Vickers, and the maintenance team back at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. According to Brig. Gen. Rolf E. Mammen, 127th Wing commander, DeVries had the entire Wing standing behind him. “As a commander, I cannot tell you how proud I am of Maj. DeVries and our entire 127th Wing, who work so hard every day to ensure that we are ready to fly, fight and win,” Mammen said.
Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett presented DeVries the Distinguished Flying Cross on Nov. 6 for extraordinary flight achievement.
The first production A-10A was delivered to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., in October 1975. The upgraded A-10C reached initial operation capability in September 2007. Specifically designed for close air support, its combination of large and varied ordnance load, long loiter time, accurate weapons delivery, austere field capability, and survivability has proven invaluable to the United States and its allies. The aircraft has participated in operations Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Provide Comfort, Desert Fox, Noble Anvil, Deny Flight, Deliberate Guard, Allied Force, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
The Thunderbolt II can be serviced and operated from austere bases with limited facilities near battle areas. Many of the aircraft’s parts are interchangeable left and right, including the engines, main landing gear and vertical stabilizers. Avionics equipment includes multi-band communications; Global Positioning System and inertial navigations systems; infrared and electronic countermeasures against air-to-air and air-to-surface threats. And, it has a heads-up display to display flight and weapons delivery information.
Video by Staff Sgt. Andrew Schumann 127th Wing Public Affairs
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