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HAWGSMOKE 2016

           The skies over Davis-Monthan Air Force Base became increasingly active June 1-3 as the 47th Fighter Squadron hosted the biennial Hawgsmoke competition. This years Hawgsmoke competition brought together 13 units to compete in an array of targeting events that are chosen by the host unit. These events range from strafing, Maverick missile firing, and bombing in which each event has their own points system based on accuracy. The events for this year’s competition included high-altitude bombing, 30-degree bombing, low-angle high-delivery bombing, long range strafing, low angle strafing, and team tactics.

            Hawgsmoke traces its history all the way back to 1949 to the first Gunsmoke Air Force Worldwide Gunnery Competition. Gunsmoke was the Air Force’s premier air-to-ground competition which involved various aircraft types working to score points in multiple events. The final Gunsmoke in 1995 saw a wide array of aircraft from units all around the globe divided into six teams that represented four major commands, ANG, and AFRES. The teams departed from their home bases or forward-deployed bases flying a minimum of four and a half hours to the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) to strike a defended target. Only one opportunity was had by each team to strike the target, which involved bombers, attack aircraft, and for the first time, air superiority fighters. Also a first, F-117 Nighthawk’s from Holloman AFB’s 49th Fighter Wing were integrated into the competition to drop a single Laser Guided Bomb (LGB). A single Nighthawk was assigned to every team to drop an LGB ten minutes prior to the rest of the strike packages bombing window. Although 1995 saw the last Gunsmoke competition, just five years later, Hawgsmoke was brought to life by Colonel Cliff Latta of the 172nd Fighter Squadron who is credited with initiating the competition. The competition was held at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center in Michigan and was won by the 118th Fighter Squadron of the Connecticut Air National Guard. Since then, Hawgsmoke has grown in size and popularity and will likely continue to grow in the future. This years Hawgsmoke was held on the Barry M. Goldwater Range (BMGR) located in southern Arizona. The BMGR is used primarily by Luke Air Force Base, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and consists of four ranges (1-4).


Units participating:

Out of Town Units:   

   - 303rd Fighter Squadron - Whiteman AFB, MO - (10 A-10C's)

   - 107th Fighter Squadron "Red Devils" - Michigan ANG - (5 A-10C's)

   - 163rd Fighter Squadron "Blacksnakes" - Indiana ANG - (5 A-10C's)

   - 104th Fighter Squadron - Baltimore ANG - (4 A-10C's)

   - 74th Fighter Squadron "Flying Tigers" - Moody AFB, GA - (4 A-10C's)

   - 75th Fighter Squadron "Tiger Sharks" - Moody AFB, GA - (4 A-10C's)


Davis-Monthan Units Participating:

   - 47th Fighter Squadron "Termites" - (4 A-10C's)

   - 357th Fighter Squadron "Dragons" - (4 A-10C's)

   - 354th Fighter Squadron "Bulldogs" - (4 A-10C's)

   - Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center (AATC) - (4 A-10C's)


Units Participating but not Sending Aircraft:

   - 76th Fighter Squadron "Vanguards" (AFRC) - Moody AFB, GA

   - 358th Fighter Squadron "Lobos" - Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ

   - 25th Fighter Sqadron "Flying Elvises" - Osan AB, Republic of Korea