MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Moody Air Force Base houses 49 A-10C Thunderbolt IIs, each with the capabilities to fire 3,600 rounds a minute.
This feat would not be possible without the efforts of the 23d Maintenance Group armament (ARMs) flight Airmen who maintain and inspect the weapons systems.
“There’s a saying in the weapons career field, ‘without weapons, it’s just another airline,” said Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Holdcroft, 23d Maintenance Squadron (MXS) ARMs flight chief. “Without reliable gun systems and bomb racks, the A-10s won’t have the ability (…) to take the fight to our adversaries. This is all part of the quality maintenance that our ARM war fighters provide.”
The ARMs shop primarily performs quality armament systems maintenance and inspections to provide aircrews with safe and reliable weapon systems for lethal airpower employment. To accomplish this, the flight is broken up into two sections: the maintenance section and the support section.
“Whether it’s maintaining our equipment, having the necessary parts on-hand or performing the maintenance to provide aircrew with safe and reliable weapons systems, both sections work as a team to ensure ARM operations are successful,” Holdcroft said.
The maintenance section is in charge of repairs and inspections, where they’ll bring in weapon system equipment, ranging from the 30mm GAU-8 gatling gun to triple ejector racks, through interval inspection periods, spanning from 180 days to 36 months.
“The maintenance section performs Time Compliance Technical Orders, inspections and maintenance on assigned A-10 armament systems, guns, pylons, racks, launchers and adapters,” Holdcroft said. “Normally, if the flightline runs into an issue doing a loading or maintenance operation, we’re able to assist as the subject matter experts. We'll fix the armament issues they give us, whether it's something simple, or take it back to our shop if it’s major. We can tear it all down and build it back up. We know all the intricacies of our systems.”
Where the maintenance section is essential in the restoration and longevity of the ARM equipment, it’s the support section that enables the ability to complete their mission.
“The support section not only stores but maintains tools and equipment, managing the supply and bench stock functions for ARM,” said Tech. Sgt. Johnathan Greig, ARM maintenance floor chief. “They ensure 100 percent accountability for all tools and equipment.”
Master Sgt. Daniel Leasher, 74th Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU) weapons section chief, explained the importance of the AMUs being able to work hand-in-hand with the ARMs shop.
“We rely on the ARMs shop support for a lot, from regular off-aircraft maintenance to in-flight emergencies, which can include unsafe or jammed guns,” Leasher said. “Without them, we would be stretched extremely thin. We would have Airmen loading bombs and at the same time performing maintenance on the aircraft.
“We wouldn't be able to do our job at all without the ARMs shop,” Leasher continued. “They take a lot off our plate. We can put bombs up, but if the bomb rack doesn't work, then it just sits on the aircraft. They always fix what we give them and bring us out a perfect product. It's really good working with them.”
Whether it’s through maintenance or support, the ARMs shop provides a critical capability to uphold the lethality of the A-10s, bringing the fight to the enemy.