In December of 2021, we have introduced to you a unique display aircraft, the ´Warthog´ being operated by the USAF Air Combat Command A-10C Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team of Davis-Monthan air force base. Today, we are continuing that topic by presenting you the maintenance team that keeps the demo A-10s airworthy and ready for display.
The A-10C Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team is one of the youngest demo teams within the United States Air Force. It was re-established in late 2017, after a six-year gap.
The team includes eleven members – the demo pilot, superintendent and public affairs officer, as well as eight maintenance personnel responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the jets to ensure their ability to perform at over twenty air shows per year.
Currently, Captain Haden ´Gator´ Fullam is the Team Commander and demo pilot. He had clocked more than 1,800 flying hours, including 541 combat hours over Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Now, Captain Fullam leads the ten-person group that takes care about the A-10 demonstration flights. The team is currently operating three aircraft.
Master Sgt. Bryen Sandoval is the superintendent of the A-10C Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team. His roles include oversight of maintenance personnel and one Public Affairs Airman, aircraft production, scheduling, resource management and running several other programs within the team. During his military career with the USAF, Master Sgt. Sandoval had served in Korea, Afghanistan and other undisclosed locations, supporting multiple aviation operations.
Technical Sergeant Brian J. Pontes is the non-commissioned officer in charge, responsible for help in leading and managing an eight-member enlisted team. He is responsible for ensuring the aircraft are ready to fly displays at national air shows, manages and ensures the integrity of all aircraft maintenance, as well as resource allocation.
Staff Sergeant Noah A. Kincel is the lead crew chief on the team and is responsible for overall aircraft maintenance, as well as inspections and servicing the different systems on the aircraft. His additional responsibility is to be the dedicated crew chief for aircraft 81-0949.
Senior Airman Toriano A. Decuir is one of the four crew chiefs on the team and is responsible for overall aircraft maintenance, including hydraulics and other pivotal aircraft systems. He is also the assistant dedicated crew chief for aircraft 80-0181.
Staff Sergeant Robert M. Benson is another crew chief and the team´s only electrical and environmental technician (EnE). He is responsible for a variety of critical electrical and environmental systems on the aircraft, including cockpit pressurization. He is also the dedicated crew chief for aircraft 81-0962.
The next crew chief of the A-10C Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team is Staff Sergeant Tryston D. Salyers. He is also the sole team member responsible for a variety of avionics systems on the aircraft, as well as the assistant dedicated crew chief for aircraft 81-0949.
The last, but certainly not least crew chief is Staff Sergeant Cody S. Polzin. He is responsible for overall aircraft maintenance, as well as inspections and servicing the different systems on the aircraft. In addition, Staff Sgt. Polzin is the dedicated crew chief for aircraft 80-0181.
Senior Airman Caleb C. Spencer is the sole engines specialist assigned to the A-10C Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team. He is responsible for TF-34 engines on all three Warthogs operated by the team. In addition, Sr. Airman Spencer is the assistant dedicated crew chief for aircraft 81-0962.
The list of the A-10C Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team maintenance personnel finishes with Senior Airman Anwar Allen.
For those who are in the United States, there are still four possibilities to see the ´Warthog´ display team in action this year. According to its official schedule the A-10C Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team will perform two times in Georgia (15th – 16th October and 5th – 6th November) and also at two more locations in Florida (11th to 13th November).
And if you would like to know more about the history and development of the A-10 Thunderbolt II, we recommend you our article from the Aviation History series, focused on that type of aircraft.
Cover photo: Senior Airman Caleb Spencer, A-10C Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team engines specialist, tows an A-10 Thunderbolt II at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, Oct. 6, 2022. (USAF photo by Staff Sgt. Jacob T. Stephens). All photos © U.S. Department of Defence (DoD). DoD information materials were used, in compliance with Public Domain licence. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.