The 309th Maintenance Wing and the Aerospace Sustainment Directorate celebrated the completion of the A-10 Precision Engagement (PE) program with a Final Roll-Out Ceremony on June 22. PE was the single largest and most significant modification program in the history of the A-10 weapon system, culminating the conversion of 349 A-10 A-models to C-models. Through critical upgrades, PE brings enhanced lethality to the A-10 through the ability to precisely detect, identify and destroy targets while simultaneously increasing pilot situational awareness and aircraft standoff capability across the battle space.
On Jan. 20, 2005, the first A-10C developmental test aircraft rolled out at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. In August of 2006, the first A-10C production aircraft, destined for the 110th Fighter Wing at Battle Creek, Mich., rolled off the line at Hill AFB. In September of 2007, the A-10C gained Initial Operational Capability followed immediately by the deployment to Iraq of a rainbow squadron of A-10Cs from Battle Creek and the 175th Fighter Wing out of Baltimore, Md. On Sept. 19 of that same year, the first A-10C to employ a JDAM in combat made a direct hit on a former insurgent safehouse that had been rigged to explode when soldiers swept the town. Col. Christophe Roach, A-10 System Program manager, stated, "Now that's what it's all about, actually seeing the fruits of your labor on the battlefield ... and sharing it with the enemy!"
PE was a simultaneous development/production program which rapidly translated concepts into combat capabilities. Development was led by a joint team consisting of the Warfighter, A-10 Developmental Systems Office, Lockheed-Martin System Integrators and its partners and the A-10 System Program Office. Production was also led by a joint team comprised of the Warfighter, the 571st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, SABCA, Korean Air Lines and the A-10 System Program Office.