Sledgehammer Hits Whiteman

The 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Mo., the Air Force’s sole B-2A stealth bomber organization, underwent an annual nuclear weapon system evaluation on Aug. 17. This Air Combat Command-led Combat Sledgehammer drill, observed by Whiteman’s 72nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, is geared to ascertain how well the wing’s airmen execute the nuclear mission from weapons loading to aircraft generation, command and control, and weapon release. “Combat Sledgehammer is a chance to prove ourselves and the rest of the world that if the President asks us to deliver a nuclear weapon, we would do it perfectly,” said Maj. William Woodward, 72nd TES director of operations. ACC coordinated the event with US Strategic Command, which provided emergency action messages to assess procedures, and the Energy Department, which supplied simulated bombs and release parameters for them. (Whiteman report by SSgt. Jason Barebo)