A-10 Wart Hog: 'It's not glamorous to fly, it's just lethal'

A-10 Wart Hog: 'It's not glamorous to fly, it's just lethal' »Play Video

BOISE -- It's "hawg heaven" in the skies over Boise these days - as in the A-10 Wart Hog, a unique jet aircraft specifically designed for close ground support of U.S troops.

"It's not glamorous to fly, it's just lethal," said Col. JR Compton with the Idaho Air Guard. "And it's amazing the respect this airplane gets not only from our allies but our enemies. They fear this aircraft."

And especially its gatling gun that can fire 60 30-millimeter rounds a second.

"It's a phenomenal weapons system," said Lt. Col. Ryan Odneal. "There hasn't been anything designed the recent years that can match it."

And through Saturday, the best A-10 pilots from U.S. Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air Guard bases around the world are competing for bragging rights in the Hawgsmoke Competition.

Forty A-10 aircraft and 200 pilots plus maintenance crew will match bombing, missle,and gunnery skills at targets in the desert near Boise.

"There's a tremendous pride factor in being first," said Lt. Col. Odneal. "You don't want to be last because you're being measured against the best of the best."

And Gowen Field is hosting this twice yearly competition because the Idaho Air Guard pilots are the defending A-10 champs.