9 units team up for PACAF ammo production exercise
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Airmen participated in the Pacific Air Forces' 2015 Combat Ammunition Production Exercise here, May 31 to June 5.
The annual exercise tested more than 250 Airmen from Andersen AFB, Guam; Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea; Osan AB, Republic of Korea; Kadena AB, Japan; Dyess AFB, Texas; Minot AFB, North Dakota; Barksdale AFB, Louisiana; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska and Whiteman AFB, Missouri. CAPEX evaluated each unit's ability to build various live munitions in large, real-life quantities capable of supporting combat sorties. The Airmen were assessed on their ability to safely produce and transport hundreds of bombs in real-time while meeting all demands of the wartime exercise scenario.
With actual munitions assembled and prepared for combat, CAPEX allowed combat planners an opportunity to analyze whether current munitions planning would be able to meet wartime operational plans and consumption rates.
"This is probably one of our most important operational and tactical exercises for our ammo Airmen," said Chief Master Sgt. Melvin Jobe, PACAF evaluator. "It's the only thing that we have in our community across the entire combat Air Forces which allows us to evaluate, in large-scale, these capabilities and we are fortunate to be able to do that here in the Pacific."
Airmen were tasked to build 1,100 bombs in different configurations for different jets. Everything they did was timed by evaluators including their ability to react to abrupt time changes.
"I enjoy the fact that multiple units from essentially all over the U.S. and PACAF come together to work as a team and share different perspectives and ideas on how to get the job done quicker and more efficiently," said Senior Airman John Berthold, 36th MUNS munitions inspector. "It's beneficial because you may not have gotten to learn those if we didn't get to work as an integrated team."
Along with other munitions, CAPEX Airmen worked with general purpose bombs such as the Mark 82 and the Mark 84 bombs during the exercise.
"This exercise is important because it tests our unit and our visiting units' capabilities to rapidly assemble and deliver high volumes of munition assets and bombs to and from the flightline to different explosive locations within our munitions storage area," Berthold said.
Despite the added workload and long shifts of simulated contingency operations, the Airmen surpassed the original goal of building 1,100 munitions by building 1,344.
"The exercise was outstanding," Jobe said. "Over the past couple of days these munitions teams formed a deep, synergistic bond which forms the foundation of real combat capability and effectiveness. They've far exceeded anyone's expectations and this year's CAPEX has been a real success."