Members of the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon AFB, N.M., earlier this month began testing a new remotely controlled truck at New Mexico’s Melrose bombing and gunnery range that pulls moving ground targets used in the training of gunship crews. The truck-target combo will provide “a much more realistic training environment for our air commandos,” said 27th SOW Commander Col. Buck Elton in Cannon’s Feb. 7 release. The GPS-guided Ford F250 truck pulls a sled target for AC-130 gunners so that they can practice firing their weapons against the target without endangering an operator in the vehicle, states the release. The $180,000 specially equipped pickup is the first of its kind in Air Force Special Operations Command, according to the release. “This is an unparalleled tool,” said Maj. Ian Frady, the deputy range manager. He added, “It opens up a new and unique training opportunity for us.” The truck can also play the role of an aggressor in training scenarios, states the release. (Cannon report by A1C Erick Engblom)
In his final keynote address before retiring as Chief Master Sergeant of the Space Force, Roger A. Towberman reflected on the progress of the Space Force and the growth still ahead at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference on Sept. 12, 2023. Watch the video or read the transcript.