DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (KTAB) – It’s a big competition day at Dyess Air Force Base. Airmen competed against each other in the Annual Dyess Strike Challenge. It included bomb building and weapons loading.
“So it’s a good way for us to practice and exercise that muscle,” Weapons Standardization Superintendent, Senior Master Sergeant Troy Ledford said.
The two teams are made up of an ammo crew and a weapons crew. The ammo crew builds the munitions.
“They’re building five GBU-38s, two GBU-54s two GBU-31 version ones,” SMSgt Ledford said.
The weapons crew loads the weapons into the aircraft.
“They have 45 minutes to do it. Most of them will be done before that but after they load the aircraft they’ll pass it over to the crew chiefs the crew chiefs will do a pre flight and this is all while being evaluated,” SMSgt Ledford said.
Both crews work together to win.
“So we’re looking for reliability safeties. We’re looking for tech data usage. Just loading the munitions and doing all your parts perfectly. There’s small mistakes that you’ll notice but it’s just all part of the competition,” SMSgt Ledford said.
While some may think the competition is the most intense part, airmen say the critique is worse.
“The most intense part is just being evaluated and all the eyes on you. Just pressure… I don’t want to mess up I want to look good,” SMSgt Ledford said.
Today the bombs weren’t actually explosive, but it will prepare the airmen for when the bombs are.
“It’s very important to get all the pieces coming together and ready to go when the time comes,” SMSgt Ledford said.
The winning team from the challenge will be presented an award at the Military Professional of the Year banquet on March 9th.