The U.S. Air Force has a new recruitment tool: Monster Trucks. Specifically, a Cadillac Escalade monstrosity designed to resemble an A10-C Thunderbolt Warthog, equipped with a Gatling gun that shoots t-shirts. You heard right, son. From Jalopnik:
“The U.S. Air Force outreach project launched earlier this year and, like the Army with its Hummers and climbing walls, involves outreach mostly at sporting events. And in case getting blasted by t-shirts out of the nose of a monster truck wasn't persuasive enough, they're handing out ringtones that sound like the the actual 30-mm gun on the A10. Epic.” (1)
Some might say there are better ways to spend taxpayer money than to build a recruitment tool for the military that epitomizes excess (perhaps a teacher’s union monster truck? ((A ’96 Dodge Caravan?)).
Others would argue this is the U.S.****in’A. and it’s only fitting our Air Force should blast T-Shirts from a 10,000 American-made SUV; that’s just how we roll.
Whatever your opinion on the matter, the balls-out invitation to join up with the world’s finest Military power has caused enough of a stir to catch the attention of the New York Times. Here’s the in-depth scoop:
“…The A-10 Monster Truck, which we first spotted on Jalopnik, has been touring air shows, sporting events and, indeed, monster truck rallies all year long, engaging passersby with its supercharged, methanol-injected engine’s stirring ruminations on post-Soviet multipolarity.
The pitch might appear unambiguous, but the A-10 also travels with enlisted recruiters who answer attendees’ questions about the truck, as well as about the Air Force.
“Anywhere there’s a crowd, it’s a magnet,” said Maj. Bobby Holland, an Air Force spokesman, in a telephone interview from Randolph Air Force Base, in San Antonio, where the military branch’s motorsport-based recruiting initiatives are organized.
“People come check out the recruiting truck outside the Monster events or at the air shows, and we can offer digital rewards, ring tones, little ways to introduce people to the Air Force,” Major Holland said. Though he could not provide actual numbers, Major Holland feels that the A-10 has served his recruitment targets well. “We have a data capture system where people register at the truck for more info about the Air Force, and that’s definitely well into the hundreds,” he said.
The A-10 was at the Wichita Flight Festival last weekend and will stump throughout the South and Southwest in coming weeks, traveling in its custom 85-foot trailer. Major Holland does not anticipate the truck will be decommissioned any time soon. “It has a really large promotional footprint,” he said, without a hint of deadpan.” (2)