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114th FW puts bombs on target

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Luke Olson
  • 114th Fighter Wing

Nearly 200 Airmen from the 114th Fighter Wing participated in a live drop bombing exercise at Volk Field Air National Guard Base, WI, Aug 9-16. 

 

Volk Field Readiness Training Center’s mission is to provide a year round integrated training environment for units to enhance their capabilities and readiness.

 

“We drop live weapons every year, but this is the first time the 114th Fighter Wing has been to Volk Field in this capacity,” said Lt. Col. Steve Schultz, 175th Fighter Squadron pilot and exercise project officer.

 

The 175th Fighter Squadron’s mission during the exercise was Close-Air Support. Their main goal was to drop ordnances and ensure they hit the targets precisely.

 

The pilots of the 175th Fighter Squadron worked with U.S. Air Force Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) in close-air support. During the training, the 175th Fighter Squadron dropped Mark-82 high explosive bombs to the locations sent by the JTACs at Ft. McCoy Bombing Range, WI.

 

“The pilot and JTAC relationship is not only critical but essential for success. It is built on trust and mutual respect.  They are the ones on the ground getting shot at and have to act professional under pressure in order to call in an attack from the fighters.  The pilots must trust that they give the correct location for the weapons impact, and the JTACs must trust that the pilot will get the bomb to the exact point they desire; especially given the fact that they may only be a couple of hundred meters away from the enemy,” said Schultz.

 

The live drop training mission is also vital to the members of the 114th Maintenance Group. The training gave Airmen the opportunity to maintain and prepare F-16s for sorties similar to a combat deployment. The Airmen were also able to assemble an F-16 delivered to Volk Field, WI from Sheppard Air Force Base, TX as a Crash Damage or Disabled Aircraft Recovery trainer. 

 

“Deploying to a different location gets everyone out of their comfort zone and requires them to work with each other in order to accomplish the mission.” said Schultz.