Units from all three Air Force components competed earlier this month in the 3rd Wing’s “turkey shoot” combat flyoff at JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. F-22 fighters and C-17 transports operated and maintained by the wing’s Active Duty, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve units joined F-15Cs flown in from the Florida Air Guard’s 125th Fighter Wing at Jacksonville for the three-day scored event. “The turkey shoot fosters a competitive spirit and improves camaraderie between participating units,” said Maj. Christopher Miller, planning coordinator at Elmendorf-Richardson. “Operators and maintenance personnel were graded on their ability to produce aircraft and accomplish a tactical mission” representing actual combat, he added. The July 17-19 competition culminated in a combined exercise with F-22s and F-15s escorting a C-17 on a combat airdrop over the Joint Alaska Pacific Range complex against F-16 aggressor aircraft from Alaska’s Eielson Air Force Base and simulated surface-to-air missiles. (Elmendorf-Richardson report by TSgt. Dana Rosso)
After a long period in which munitions were almost an afterthought and sacrificed to pay for other priorities, the Air Force needs to focus on them in order to have the right “package” of capabilities for future conflicts, Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. said June 7.