After an A-10 participating in anti-ISIS operations suffered a non combat engine failure and had to divert to Al Asad AB, Iraq, a team of maintainers deployed from the 332nd Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron got it back in the air after less than five days, according to Air Forces Central Command officials. The A-10’s number one engine suffered catastrophic damage during a routine refueling mission, and safely diverted to Al Asad. The nine-person team from the 332nd EMS helped identify the damage and prepare a parts list needed for expedited repairs. The maintainers initially believed they would have to order parts from the US — which would ground the aircraft for nearly a month. Because Al Asad AB is a location that is not “fully secure,” 332nd Air Expeditionary Group leadership wanted the A-10 flown out and operational as soon as possible, said Col. Michael Stohler, the 332nd AEG commander. With support from AFCENT to get parts into Iraq as soon as possible, the team improvised with equipment at the base to tow the aircraft to an unused shelter, push it into the hangar with other airmen and marines, and get individual parts and five extra personnel airlifted in from other locations to facilitate repairs.
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.