By Capt. Heath Allen
Arkansas National Guard
FORT SMITH, Ark., (1/28/10) -- The 188th Fighter Wing is no stranger to the spotlight. That light was never more luminous than during a recent partnership with the U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service.
The 188th's A-10C Thunderbolt II "Warthogs" will be used in a marketing campaign, which will feature photos and video of an A-10C with a monster truck that resembles the aircraft.
A marketing team with USAF Recruiting Services concluded a three-day project at the 188th Jan. 27. The photo and video shoot featured shots of the A-10s with the monster truck.
Tight project deadlines put the 188th under the gun and the microscope.
"We sent out the message to several A-10 units and the 188th was the first to respond," said Tech Sgt. Christian Bolduc, a spokesperson with USAF Recruiting. "The 188th went out of its way to make sure that we had everything we needed. A project like this takes time and a lot of coordination and the 188th did a great job and made our jobs a lot easier. We're very appreciative of all their efforts."
The monster truck was designed to mimic many of the A-10's attributes, including a replica of the aircraft's 30mm Gatling gun. The monster truck's version of the weapon functions as a T-shirt launcher during Air Force recruiting events.
The monster truck also features non-functioning models of the A-10's wings and its two General Electric GF-34 engines.
The 188th's A-10s along with the monster truck will be featured in USAF Recruiting Service videos and literature that will be disseminated nationwide, including professional sporting events. Photo and video products from the project will also be available on computer desktop and cell phone wallpapers. Audio from the A-10's 30mm Gatling gun will be made available in a cell phone ring tone as well.
"We know the Air Force could have selected any number of A-10 units," said Col. Tom Anderson, 188th commander. "We were very appreciative that we were afforded the opportunity to showcase our A-10s and the 188th on a national level. I know everyone from Operations to Maintenance and Public Affairs went above and beyond to ensure the Air Force Recruiting team had what they needed to do the job right."
The recruiting program also includes a similar partnership with Orange County Choppers in which one of the company's motorcycles is featured with an F-22 Raptor.