An exercise underway at Hill AFB, Utah, is giving pilots the chance to employ precision-guided munitions, but also maintainers the chance to work with weapons they don’t normally see at home stations. Aircraft from a number of Air Force bases are at Hill through Aug. 18 to practice with PGMs on the Utah Test and Training Range during exercises Combat Hammer and Combat Archer, according to a 75th Air Base Wing release. Airmen from 325th Maintenance Squadron at Tyndall AFB, Fla., supported the exercise by building 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munitions. TSgt. Anthony Mansell, a precision guided munitions evaluator attached to the 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron at Hill, said the exercises allow airmen “to work with munitions they don’t get to work with during day-to-day training at home station,” according to the release. And the information gathered during the exercises “really makes a difference for the warfighter and in preparing units to deploy,” he added. (See also: Boeing JDAM Deal Nearly Doubles.)
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.