Defense

February 3, 2014

Weapons Airmen bring bombs to fight

Tags:
SrA. Benjamin Sutton
Nellis AFB, Nev.

Senior Airman Jordan Gee, 366th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons three man, adjusts the pins on an inert GBU-12 munition Jan. 28, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Gee is one of more than 3,200 military members currently participating in the combat exercise Red Flag 14-1. By providing realistic combat training in a contested, degraded and operationally limited environment, Red Flag 14-1 provides pilots with real-time war scenarios and helps ground crews test their readiness capabilities.

The chill in the morning air and the dark before dawn didn’t deter the Airmen from the 366th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron as they prepared training munitions for aircraft participating in combat exercise Red Flag 14-1 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

By providing realistic combat training in a contested, degraded and operationally-limited environment, Red Flag 14-1 provides pilots with real-time war scenarios and helps ground crews test their readiness capabilities.

“Red Flag is an excellent opportunity for us to receive some seriously realistic training,” said SrA. Norman Roope, a 366th AMXS weapons load crew member. “We are able to slow down and really focus on proper weapon handling techniques along with safety concerns. It’s easy to get stuck in the monotony of a daily routine back home and being here really revitalizes us and shows the big picture of what we are trying to accomplish as an Air Force.”

Airmen loaded multiple aircraft with GBU-12 inert munitions in preparation for the day’s flying.

Even though they are inert, the rounds still have guidance systems attached in order to give the aircrew a better training opportunity,” said SSgt. Devin Skelton, a 366th AMXS load crew team chief. “I want to ensure my team is mission ready. It’s more than just going through the motions; it’s about taking the time to ensure each and every munition is ready to go into the fight, regardless of whether it’s an inert or live round.”

F-15E Strike Eagles from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, are parked on the Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., flight line Jan. 28, 2014. Twelve aircraft along with more than 150 personnel are currently on temporary duty assignment at Nellis AFB, participating in the multinational combat exercise Red Flag 14-1. Red Flag gives aircrews and air support operations personnel from various airframes, military services and allied countries an opportunity to integrate and practice combat operations.

According to Skelton, weapons airmen don’t load bombs as often as he would like to. Loading them almost daily during the exercise therefore offers a chance to gain some needed training.

“Having the opportunity to participate in Red Flag is fantastic training for future deployments,” said SrA. Jordan Gee, a 366th AMXS weapons three man. “Being able to work side-by-side with other countries to accomplish the mission is a unique occurrence. Plus, multiple aircraft are going to fly in the next few hours and our jets need to be mission ready. We are responsible for ensuring these munitions are attached safely and correctly so that every player can receive proper training once the bombs are dropped.”

Training was taken up a notch as faulty brackets caused some problems for maintenance airmen.
“There was a small problem with some brackets attached to the inert munitions and this gave us the opportunity to work with our fellow maintenance airmen,” Roope said. “The broken brackets were replaced on the spot and we finished attaching the munitions to the aircraft. Loading the inert rounds also helps everyone get the jitters out so when we load live munitions we are confident and prepared to execute the mission flawlessly.”

Another great aspect of the multinational exercise is the opportunities airmen have once their work day is complete.

“Being on temporary duty here for the exercise is great,” Roope said. “Standing on the flight line we can see the skyscrapers of Las Vegas and Nellis AFB is amazing. There are so many different kinds of aircraft here as well as the Thunderbirds. I really like to watch the aircraft and ground crews from Britain and Australia doing their jobs because I notice the similarities between our nations. It really shows that no matter where we are from we really are one mission, one fight.




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


 
 

 

Headlines April 23, 2014

News: U.S. conducts spy flights over Russia - After a tit-for-tat series of delays, the United States conducted an Open Skies Treaty intelligence flight over Russian territory April 21, a State Department official said.  Army paratroopers heading to Poland after Russian annexation of Crimea - U.S. Army paratroopers are arriving in Poland to begin a series of...
 
 

News Briefs April 23, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,177 As of April 22, 2014, at least 2,177 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. The AP count is one less than the Defense Department’s tally. At least...
 
 

Northrop Grumman sets new greenhouse gas emission reduction goal of 30 percent by 2020

Northrop Grumman announced April 22 its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 2010 levels by 2020, as part of its commemoration of Earth Day.   “Northrop Grumman is dedicated to top performance in environmental sustainability,” said Wes Bush, chairman, chief executive officer and president. “This new goal sets the bar significantly...
 

 

Lockheed Martin demonstrates enhanced ground control system, software for small UAV

Lockheed Martin’s Group 1 family of unmanned aircraft systems is migrating to enhanced automation capabilities using its Kestrelô “Fly Light” flight control systems and industry-leading mobile Ground Control Station software. The increased automation allows operators to focus on executing the mission, rather than flying various aircraft. Earlier this year, Lockheed MartinR...
 
 

U.S. Navy awards General Dynamics $33 million to operate, maintain military sealift ships

The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics American Overseas Marine LLC a $32.7 million contract modification to operate and maintain seven large, medium-speed, roll-on / roll-off ships for the Military Sealift Command. AMSEA is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics. Under the terms of the modification, AMSEA will provide services including crewing, engineering, maintenance,...
 
 

US Navy deploys Standard Missile-3 Block IB for first time

In partnership with the Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Navy deployed the second-generation Standard Missile-3 Block IB made by Raytheon for the first time, initiating the second phase of the Phased Adaptive Approach. “The SM-3 Block IB’s completion of initial operational testing last year set the stage for a rapid deployment to theater,” said Dr....
 




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>