Putting the Hammer Down

Airmen and strike aircraft from several Air Force squadrons across the United States are gathered at Hill AFB, Utah, for several weeks to practice employing air-to-ground and air-to-air weapons at the Utah Test and Training Range. Participating are the 354th Fighter Squadron, an A-10 unit at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.; the 96th Bomb Squadron, a B-52 unit at Barksdale AFB, La.; the 391st FS, an F-15E unit at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho; and the 79th FS, an F-16 unit at Shaw AFB, S.C. One week of Combat Hammer air-to-ground drills are first on the agenda, followed by one week of Combat Archer air-to-air evaluations. The final week entails combined air and ground drills. The 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron at Eglin AFB, Fla., manages these activities. For many aircrews, these events represent the first time that they employ live weapons. (Eglin release)