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November 30, 2018
 

Gunsmoke returns to Nellis with a twist

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Airman Bailee A. Darbasie
Nellis AFB, Nev.

Senior Airman Joshua Cowart, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Strike Aircraft Maintenance Unit F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet maintainer, prepares an F-15E for launch Nov. 15, 2018 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.. Cowart was one of many participants representing Strike AMU during a Gunsmoke Competition at Nellis.

Pilots and maintainers assigned to various flying squadrons throughout Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., competed Nov. 15 in a Gunsmoke Competition held on the flightline and Nevada Test and Training Range.

Gunsmoke, which was once the U.S. Air Force’s premier air-to-ground competition, is now a modified version of the competition which puts the munitions, maintenance and Weapons School squadrons’ skills to the test through multiple events.

“We brought the competition back with some changes in order to boost morale and readiness across the flightline,” said Staff Sgt. Tyler Adams, 57th Maintenance Group Quality Assurance F-15 lead inspector. “The competition now follows the weapons from the time they’re built to the time they’re dropped.”

Airman 1st Class Bonifacio Garcia, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Strike Aircraft Maintenance Unit F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet maintainer, inspects an F-15E before flight Nov. 15, 2018 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.. Crew chiefs are required to perform inspections prior to every launch.

From weapons personnel loading the live weapons and crew chiefs perfectly launching the aircraft, to pilots using those weapons to hit their targets, each team was judged on their safety and execution.

“It was exciting to participate in such a rewarding event,” said Airman 1st Class Bonifacio Garcia, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Strike Aircraft Maintenance Unit F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet maintainer. “Competing to showcase our skills really brought the squadrons together and boosted morale within the units.”

In the end, the Raptor Aircraft Maintenance Unit and the 33rd Weapons Squadron won the overall competition and took home the Gunsmoke Traveling Trophy.

The 57th Wing plans on hosting more Gunsmoke Competitions for the flying squadrons to compete in.
 

Airman 1st Class Bonifacio Garcia, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Strike Aircraft Maintenance Unit F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet maintainer and Airman 1st Class Tom Sweeney, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Strike Aircraft Maintenance Unit F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet weapons personnel, observe an F-15E take off Nov. 15, 2018 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.. Garcia and Sweeney were participants in the maintenance and munitions portion of the Gunsmoke Competition held at Nellis.

 

Airman 1st Class Bonifacio Garcia, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Strike Aircraft Maintenance Unit F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet maintainer, salutes Maj. Travis Klare and Capt. Andrew Griffin, 17th Weapons Squadron pilots, before their flight Nov. 15, 2018 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The pilots flew their F-15E over the Nevada Test and Training Range during a Gunsmoke Competition.

 

Capt. Andrew Griffin, 17th Weapons Squadron pilot, inspects an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet prior to his flight Nov. 15, 2018 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Pilots preform pre-flight inspections to ensure safety of both pilots and the aircraft during a flight.

 

An F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet prepares to launch during a Gunsmoke Competition Nov. 15, 2018 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. From weapons personnel loading the live weapons and crew chiefs perfectly launching the aircraft, to pilots using those weapons to hit their targets, each team was judged on their safety and execution.

 

An F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet prepares to launch during a Gunsmoke Competition Nov. 15, 2018 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. From weapons personnel loading the live weapons and crew chiefs perfectly launching the aircraft, to pilots using those weapons to hit their targets, each team was judged on their safety and execution.

 

Airman 1st Class Liam Burke, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Strike Aircraft Maintenance Unit F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet maintainer, inspects an F-15E prior to launching Nov. 15, 2018 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Maintainers inspect aircraft prior to flights to ensure safety.

 

Airman 1st Class Bonifacio Garcia, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Strike Aircraft Maintenance Unit F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet maintainer, cleans an F-15E landing gear while participating in a Gunsmoke Competition Nov. 15, 2018 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The Gunsmoke Competition has been brought back to Nellis to boost morale and readiness across the flightline.




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