AFCOMAC: Building Teamwork, and Bombs

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Samuel A. Burns
  • 9 Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

“Bombs away” has a nice ring to it, but the thrilling descent of high explosives requires a lot more than just the push of a button.
A total of 77 ammunition troops from around the Air Force traveled to Beale to attend the Air Force Combat Ammunition Center class 23-003.

AFCOMAC conducts the combat ammunition and production planning course eight times per year. This training engages total force members in mass munitions production and is a requirement for 7 and 9-level upgrade training within the munitions career field.

“This is an opportunity to take a group of people from across the planet who are at bases with incredibly different mission sets and create a common set of competencies that would be impossible in any other way,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Brian Sevy, AFCOMAC class 23-003 chief.

While working with unfamiliar teammates can present a challenge, the benefits have a lasting impact.

“The most rewarding part was being able to see all the different personalities and being able to learn from my counterparts,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Tahiem Shakir, an AFCOMAC student. “We all taught each other different things, so being able to take that knowledge and spread the wealth, it was amazing.”

The students started with an in-depth classroom instruction where they developed their munitions employment plan, organizing all functional areas of their final intensive practical exercise, Iron Flag.

“Exercise Iron Flag provides our staff sergeants an opportunity to organize their resources and execute a plan in order to mass produce munitions for a simulated contingency,” said Air Force Master Sgt. John Stalnik, 9th Munitions Squadron AFCOMAC advisor.

The functional areas included control, operations, breakout, small bombs, big bombs, small diameter bombs/cluster bomb units, line delivery, and supervision. This structure was designed to prepare the airmen for real life contingencies.

“If we were to go to war, that’s what it’s going to be like. You’re not going to deploy with your buddies, so in the event of a crisis, we would be executing the mission with people we don’t know,” said Stalnik. “Every class that I’ve seen, the students leave here as better war planners and better bomb builders than they came.”

Overall, it was an explosive week for the ammo troops as they came together to assemble and disassemble 944 bombs during the 5-day exercise.