Royal Air Force armament specialists have been tested alongside their US Air Force (USAF) counterparts at the annual Combat Ammunition Production Exercise.
This is the first time that the RAF has participated in this exercise, which is run by the US Air Force at RAF Fairford. Members of 93 Expeditionary Armament Squadron (EA Squadron), part of Global Enablement’s Support Force, joined the USAF’s 48th Munitions Squadron from RAF Lakenheath.
The teams were given scenarios where they had to produce and transport a variety of munitions including Joint Air-to Surface Standoff Missiles and Joint Direct Attack Munitions, which could be required to support a high-intensity operations.
Chief Technician Hunt, from 93 EA Squadron said
It’s very exciting to be involved in such a dynamic exercise. My team have had to use all their experience gleaned from numerous operational tours around the world. The goal was to produce a large number of aircraft ordnance in the swiftest manner possible. The UK and US Service personnel worked together to build bombs ranging from 500lb to 2000lbs.
This is the first time that the UK has participated in this exercise. It strengthens our relationship with our US partners and improves our ability to work with them. The exercise supports the RAF’s Agile Combat Employment by increasing resilience and flexibility.
Staff Sergeant Logston, 48th Munitions conventional maintenance inspector, said:
This was the first year we integrated the RAF into CAPEX. The lessons learned from each other allow us to bring new ideas and processes home to integrate what works well. It creates a relationship of learning between our services so if and when the time comes we have a better understanding of how to operate together.
Working with our NATO partners reconfirms the strong relationship that the RAF and USAF have. It also allows us to learn from one another, whilst setting the stage for future involvement in joint exercises both here, in Europe and across the globe.