Air Force

May 30, 2014

Combat Hammer 2014: Boosting RPA strike proficiency

Tags:
Staff Sgt. N.B.
432nd Wing, 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Airmen 1st Class Steven and Taylor (right), both 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron MQ-9 Reaper crew chiefs, prepare an MQ-9 Reaper for flight during Combat Hammer May 15 at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. Fighter, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft units around the Air Force are evaluated four times a year and provided weapons, airspace and targets from Hill AFB, Utah, or Eglin AFB, Fla.

CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The role of modern aerial warfare has drastically changed since it was first used on a large scale in World War I.

The advent of precision-guided munitions has aided in providing strike capabilities to combatant commanders while helping to reduce or even eliminate unnecessary suffering.

Hunters from the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing and the Air-to-Ground Weapons System Evaluation Program team participated in the 2014 Combat Hammer Exercise May 12 to 15, to operationally assess and evaluate the reliability, maintainability, suitability, and accuracy of remotely piloted aircraft munitions.

“In layman’s terms our mission is to look at the weapon from cradle to grave in a controlled environment,” said Maj. John Collier, 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron lead WSEP evaluator. “We do this so combatant commanders are provided the necessary information to ensure they plan and pair the correct number of weapons against any given type of target.”

Crews from various major commands participated in the week-long exercise to include the 432nd Attack Squadron from the 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., joining via remote split operations.

Remote split operations allow for MQ-9 Reapers to take off from Creech AFB and be flown by aircrew with access to a ground control station, making it possible for more RPA units to engage in WSEP operations.

“The RSO capability provides us a unique opportunity that other [traditional] operations groups can’t do,” said Capt. Marcus, 432nd Operations Support Squadron WSEP project officer. “We can fight in combat overseas in the morning and participate in a major evaluation of weapons at home in the afternoon.”

Aircrews selected to fly varied in rank and skill level, and for many it was their first time deploying either the GBU-12 Paveway II bomb or the AGM-114 Hellfire missile.

Staff Sgt. Daniel, 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Tiger Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew member (left), and Staff Sgt. Nicholas, 432nd AMXS Tiger Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew chief, transport an AGM-114 Hellfire missile to an MQ-9 Reaper during Combat Hammer May 15 at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. Combat Hammer is a week-long mission that operationally assesses and evaluates the reliability, maintainability,
suitability and accuracy of remotely piloted aircraft munitions.

“It was my first time taking part in an exercise like this,” said Airman 1st Class Gillian, 42nd Attack Squadron sensor operator. “It was awesome and really helpful for learning purposes to see weapons deploy and impact a target before having to use them for real. I truly learned a lot.”

During the exercise MQ-9 Reapers flew in a two-ship formation flight through Federal Aviation Administration airspace to the Utah Test and Training Range at Hill AFB, Utah.

This marked one of the first times RPA assets were allowed to travel in formation, which aircrew members were also able to use as a training opportunity.

Along with achieving many firsts, safety remained a priority throughout the week.

“There were no safety violations; everything was spot on,” said Senior Master Sgt. Gregory Young, 86th FWS WSEP production superintendent. “This is my third time out here and everything always runs exactly how it should.”

Leadership from the 432nd Wing/432nd AEW praised Hunters and WSEP team members for their hard work and dedication to superior performance during Combat Hammer.

“It’s truly outstanding work by the maintenance team and by the crews both locally and from a distance,” said Col. James Chittenden, 432nd Wing/432nd AEW vice commander.

Fighter, bomber and RPA units around the Air Force are evaluated four times a year and provided weapons, airspace and targets from Hill AFB, Utah, or Eglin AFB, Fla.

“This was a great WSEP because the Hunters pulled a lot of lessons learned to help save lives, and ultimately that’s what we’re here to do,” said Collier.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

CDOS 2014 comes to a close

U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Many people view the Labor Day weekend as the end of summer and a last chance to travel, hit Lake Mead, fire up the grill or indulge in their favorite outdoor ...
 
 

Lomie G. Heard Elementary School faculty looking forward to new school year

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Dominga Romero (left), special programs teacher assistant, and Terri Gravnitz (right), early childhood special education teacher, prepare their classroom for the start of the new school year at Lomie G. Heard Elementary School on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Aug. 21. The new school year...
 
 

Revisiting, examining four elements of leadership

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Whenever I see a new revision of the Professional Development Guide, I find myself reflecting on an experience I had meeting an awards board almost 20 years ago. I was a young staff sergeant and my flight chief was a panel member. He came up with a question from the 1993...
 

 

Deeds, not words make ‘quiet professionals’

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — As I was preparing for my assumption of command of the 60th Aerial Port Squadron, I was learning as much as I could about the squadron. One thing I immediately looked at was our squadron patch, because I wanted to see the emblem that represents the squadron to the rest of...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler

Joint U.S. forces train together during integrated Green Flag exercise

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 309th Fighter Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., taxis to the runway during Green Flag-West 14-10 at Nellis AFB, Nev., Aug. 21. Green ...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay

Get your caffeine at Coolbeans café

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay The Coolbeans Café, a coffee shop serving Starbucks is now open in Hangar 1003 to serve the Airmen of Creech Air Force Base. Airmen interested in getting out of their work cent...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin