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News > End of an era at 188th Fighter Wing as Warthogs fly last night training mission
 
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Going down in history: 188th Warthogs fly last night training mission
Tail No. 188 is parked on the ramp at the 188th Fighter Wing’s Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith, Ark., Jan. 29, 2014, following a historical final night-flying mission for the 188th. Maj. Patric Coggin (188) and Lt. Col. Toby Brallier (216) conducted the 188th’s last night-flying training mission. The two pilots conducted a flight lead upgrade certification near Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., before returning to the 188th’s Detachment 1 Razorback Range at Fort Chaffee Maneuver Training Center, Ark., to log additional close-air support training. The wing is currently transitioning from a fighter mission to an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance/remotely piloted aircraft (MQ-9 Reaper) mission that will also feature a space-focused targeting squadron. The 188th has divested two A-10C Thunderbolt II “Warthogs” per month since September 2013. The last two Warthogs are slated to leave the 188th in June 2014. The 188th has flown A-10s since April 2007 and has had assigned aircraft on site since 1953. June will mark the first time in the unit’s 60-year history that no assigned military aircraft will be parked on the flightline at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech Sgt. Josh Lewis)
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End of an era at 188th Fighter Wing as Warthogs fly last night training mission

Posted 2/2/2014   Updated 2/3/2014 Email story   Print story

    


by Maj. Heath Allen
188th Fighter Wing executive officer


2/2/2014 - FORT SMITH, Ark. -- The 188th Fighter Wing again made history as it logged its final night mission training sortie with the Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft Jan. 29 here.

The flight was just one in a series of historical events at the wing since it began a mission conversion last year.

Air Force Maj. Patrick Coggin, flying tail number 188,  and Lt. Col. Toby Brallier, flying tail number 216, conducted the final night-flying mission for the 188th FW in the A-10Cs, also known as "Warthogs." The two pilots conducted a flight lead upgrade certification near Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., before returning to the 188th's Detachment 1 Razorback Range at Fort Chaffee Maneuver Training Center, Ark., to register additional close-air support training.

The sortie will be the last manned night-flying mission in 188th FW history. The wing is currently transitioning from a fighter mission to an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance remotely piloted aircraft, MQ-9 Reaper, mission that will also feature a space-focused targeting squadron.

The 188th FW has divested two A-10Cs per month since September 2013. The last two A-10Cs are slated to leave the 188th in June 2014. The unit currently has nine A-10s on station with two more scheduled to leave sometime in February.

"As we get closer to June, we will experience a lot of historical moments at the 188th," said Col. Mark Anderson, 188th Fighter Wing commander. "It's bittersweet in that we're losing our aircraft but we're excited about the future of our wing and the cutting-edge mission with which the Air Force has entrusted us. We've accomplished some amazing feats in the A-10 in a very short time but the future looks bright for the 188th."

The 188th has flown A-10s since April 2007 and has had assigned aircraft on site since 1953. The 188th has deployed twice in the A-10, including deployments to Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan, in 2010 and Bagram AB, Afghanistan, in 2012. They were the two largest deployments in wing history.

June will mark the first time in the unit's 60-year history that no assigned military aircraft will be parked on the flightline at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark.



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