Taken on May 22, 2021 but released on Sep. 14, 2021 the cool video in this post features pilots from the US Air Force’s 354th Fighter Squadron “Bulldogs” and Controllers from the 355th Operations Support Squadron, both out of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (AFB), Ariz., landing A-10s at the Young Air Assault Strip at Fort McCoy, Wis.
The A-10 Thunderbolt II Pilots received Unprepared Surface Landing (USL) certification and the Controllers received Landing Zone Safety Officer (LZSO) certification.
The LZSOs are trained to conduct aircraft operations and construct landing zones in challenging locations.
The personnel are trained during a 10-day LZSO course that included in class and field training. The course is open to air traffic controllers, airfield managers and radar weather and landing system technicians.
The US Air Force (USAF) is moving towards having a smaller carbon footprint in the areas where the service’s personnel is located. So that way Airmen can go to environments where they don’t have to have an entire construction crew to build a runway. They can just go in, survey it out and make sure it’s safe for certain types of aircraft.
They will be able to perform as an air traffic controller, airfield manager, and radar weather and landing system technician all in one.
Landing zones are especially important for places that don’t have set runways. They allow to go to locations and bring in KC-135s and heavy C-17s because they are capable of landing on materials other than concrete such as dirt and open fields.
As already explained the A-10 Thunderbolt II close air support (CAS) aircraft 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.
Specifically designed for CAS, its combination of large and varied ordnance load, long loiter time, accurate weapons delivery, austere field capability, and survivability has proven invaluable to the US and its allies.
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