AFCOCOMP 2023: Competition Breeds Excellence

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

Iron sharpens iron, which is why ammunition Airmen from all across the globe came together at Beale AFB to participate in the Air Force Combat Operations Competition (AFCOCOMP).

Eight teams from eight different Major Commands (MAJCOM) competed at the Air Force level for a chance to win the Sierra Trophy. The 9th Munitions Squadron orchestrated this event to test the skills and cohesion of each ammo team in a series of wartime scenarios.

“AFCOCOMP is designed to train our Airmen for war through pride in competition across the Air Force,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Tosha Skeen, 9th Munitions Squadron munitions stockpile management NCO in charge. “This event is not just a great learning experience for the teams participating, but for all ammo teams across each MAJCOM.”

The events include building small bombs and big bombs, loading small-diameter bombs, line delivery, 7-level validation, building a munitions assembly conveyor, and a standard configuration load test.

AFCOCOMP started as an annual event in 2018, but was canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic, making this only the third event in the competition’s history. Since its inception, AFCOCOMP has grown to create a more realistic process, and embody the Mmulti-Ccapable Airman concept.

“We’re doing more than just building bombs, we’re palletizing cargo, moving equipment and showing that we can perform outside of our scope,” said Skeen.

After completing each scenario, the teams are graded by how fast they completed their task, and how few discrepancies they had.

“This is phenomenal practice for us,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Brian Foster, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron NCO in charge of precision guided munitions, from Shaw AFB, South Carolina. “Having done a few [agile combat employment] missions in the past, this is dead-on with what we do down range. Adding some competition and some hussle is exactly what we need for some realistic experience.”

After four straight days of fierce competition under the California sun, the 96th Maintenance Squadron from Eglin AFB, Florida, came out on top and took home the Sierra Trophy.

Thanks to the competitive nature of AFCOCOMP, every participating team emerged with a boost of experience and readiness. Now, each Airman returns to their respective units with enhanced capabilities for safeguarding our nation.