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U.S. Air Force returns military equivalent of a pit stop for A-10 Thunderbolt II

The U.S. Air Force decided to return a military equivalent of a pit stop in auto racing, known as an Integrated Combat Turn (ICT), for A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft.

During an ICT, the pilot stops the jet, the service crew refueled, rearmed aircraft, and sent it back into combat.

ICTs have been utilized by the Air Force in the past, but are making a comeback and Davis-Monthan is leading the way in that effort.

Now, after aircraft touch down, the A-10s taxi to their respective sun shades where the crews, with tools in hand, prepare to begin maintenance. They immediately get to work loading the aircraft with armaments, checking fuel levels and refueling it in order to get the jet back in the air as quickly as possible while the engines are still running. Once all processes are complete, the A-10s are ready to take off and fly another sortie.

“We’ve decided to bring these ICTs back because rapidly turning these aircraft will give us a competitive edge on our near-to-peer adversaries,” said Col. Barton Kenerson, 355th Maintenance Group commander. “We realized over the years we’ve been fighting in the [air and space expeditionary force] construct that having this capability is something we need.”

ICTs are comprised of a highly trained and proficient workforce that have spent an extensive amount of time perfecting their craft. This experience allows the crews to load and maintain an aircraft in a fraction of the time it usually takes.

“During a normal combat turn, all of the servicing we do is performed at different times,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Terasas, 355th Maintenance Group load standardization crew member. “During an ICT, we tackle all of these processes at the same time. We constantly practice to ensure that we don’t get in each other’s way and can get the …read more

Read more here:: Defence Blog (Air)

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