Business is booming: Air Force Combat Operations competition

Air Force photograph by Airman Mason Hargrove
Master Sgt. David Walker, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron assistant section chief, motivates his troops during an Air Force Combat Operations Competition training event, Aug. 11, 2022, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.. During the training, Airmen were tested on building munitions on a conveyor assembly to strengthen their skills and remain combat ready.
Air Force photograph by Airman Mason Hargrove

Members of the 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., took part in an Air Force Combat Operations training event Aug. 11, 2022.

Officials designed the training to test and help prepare munition systems technicians for an upcoming high-intensity competition.

Air Force photograph by Airman Mason Hargrove
Munition systems technicians with the 56the Equipment Maintenance Squadron gather materials during an Air Force Combat Operations Competition training event, Aug. 11, 2022, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. During the training, Airmen were tested on building munitions on a conveyor assembly to strengthen their skills and remain mission ready.

Eight Air Force munitions teams from across the Air Force will compete for four days in Volk Field, Wisc. in multiple munitions-themed events, including installing bomb fuses, airfoil groups, and other components into 500-to-2,000-pound bombs, to determine AMMO’s most combat-ready Airmen.

“The overall goal of the competition is to become stronger as AMMO,” said Tech Sgt. Lewis Hudgings, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron munition systems technician. “It’s designed to broaden our training and make us better AMMO troops, so that way, if and when we deploy, we are ready, prepped with the experience and knowledge, to handle business.”

Air Force photograph by Airman Mason Hargrove
Master Sgt. David Walker (center), 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron assistant section chief, helps his troops attach a KMU-572 tail kit onto a GBU-38, Aug. 11, 2022, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. During the training, Airmen were tested on building munitions on a conveyor assembly to strengthen their skills and remain mission ready.

“AFCOCOMP was created to synergize AMMO readiness training efforts across the globe,” said Master Sgt. David Walker, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron assistant section chief. “The overall objective is to increase combat readiness throughout the career field by having home units reinforce training and best practices through the spirit of competition.”

To claim the title of the “Best of the Best,” units will need to train harder than ever.

Air Force photograph by Airman Mason Hargrove
Airman 1st Class Eric Mitchell, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron munition systems technician, tightens screws on a KMU-572 tail kit, Aug. 11, 2022, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Munition systems technicians are a vital part of the maintenance force that are responsible for ensuring their aircraft are combat-ready.

“The increased training will continue to boost our career field’s readiness,” said Hudgings. “All the while bringing the AMMO community closer together.”

Regardless of who’s crowned, the goal of the competition is to increase readiness and create a more lethal force.

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