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Spangdahlem, Incirlik Airmen unite in training

by 1st Lt. Angel Guerrero
39th Maintenance Squadron Munitions Flight commander


3/5/2007 - INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey (AFNEWS) -- The cooperation between Airmen from Incirlik AB and Spangdahlem AB, Germany, has improved the development of the 39th Maintenance Squadron ammunition members through high-fidelity training opportunities. 

As aircrews from two F-16 Fighting Falcon squadrons from Spangdahlem AB train in a different environment, Airmen on the ground develop skills not normally associated with running the 39th Air Base Wing here.

"Up until this deployment, the hands-on, on-the-job training experience for younger Airmen was basically non-existent," said Senior Master Sgt. Richard Smith, the 39th MXS munitions flight chief.

The munitions flight here has not built general purpose bombs, or delivered them to the flightline in support of aircraft, since April 2003, although necessary non aircraft-related tasks and training have been performed.

"Before the Spangdahlem crew arrived, the Airmen assigned to the munitions flight got their training through Career Development Courses," Sergeant Smith said. "That all changed in January when we picked up a new support mission for the (F-16s)."

Airmen of the 39th MXS munitions flight have participated in almost every facet of munitions support for Spangdahlem AB.

"They've built BDU-50s and 33s and processed 20 mm ammunition in order to become familiar with the Universal Ammunition Loading System," said Tech. Sgt. Victoria Light, the 39th MXS munitions assistance element NCO in charge. "Learning the importance of static grounding during munitions operations ... came in handy while building other items like chaffs and flares."

Airmen of the 39th MXS are now proficient in areas they weren't only months ago. Incirlik AB Airmen have gained experience in bomb-building safety, trailer configuration and loading, explosive squibbing operations, flightline driving, munitions reconciliation, towing loaded munitions trailers and coordinating with munitions control.
 
"The ability to provide on-the-job training prepares and gives our Airmen a better understanding of what ammunition specialists do as part of the 39th Air Base Wing, the U.S. Air Force, NATO and (U.S. European Command)," said Tech. Sgt. Alexander Thomas, the 39th MXS munitions control NCOIC.

As a result of the training received from working side-by-side with their Spangdahlem AB counterparts, Incirlik AB Airmen are better prepared for their next assignment.

"Most likely, our AMMO specialists will be involved in a munitions environment on a much larger scale in the future and will play a vital role in ensuring freedom's future worldwide," said Maj. Kenneth Speidel, the 39th MXS commander.



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