CAPEX prepares ammo Airmen for future deployments
By SrA Stephen G. Eigel , 18th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 18, 2016
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan --
5/18/2016 - The 18th Munitions Squadron at Kadena Air Base, Japan, hosted a week-long Pacific Air Forces Combat Ammunition Production Exercise May 16-20.
1st Lt. Lyneth Battle, 18th MUNS production flight commander and CAPEX project officer, said because Kadena is an air-to-air fighter aircraft base and does not typically build bombs, the exercise was conducted to test the squadron's combat capabilities to produce munitions in a wartime scenario.
The exercise gave munitions squadron personnel an opportunity to practice delivering ammunition to aircraft and building ammunition to a simulated wartime requirement flying schedule.
"Validating a munitions employment plan is also important if reinforcements were to come to Kadena," said Battle. "CAPEX allows munitions personnel to receive the necessary training to provide aircraft with the ammunition they need to carry out a mission."
Other air-to-air PACAF and Air Combat Command bases also participated in the exercise. The bases were Andersen Air Force Base, Guam; Kunsan Air Base, South Korea; Misawa AB, Japan; Mountain Home AFB, Idaho; and Osan AB, South Korea.
"It's great training," said Senior Airman Talia lamanuzzi, 366th Equipment Maintenance Squadron bomb inspector. "We are training with live assets so it is really good to be able to take the training we get here and take it down range with us because most of us here are scheduled to deploy within the next six months."
The various units came to Kadena and participated in the exercise because building air-to-ground munitions is their specialty. Although there are members from all over the world in this exercise, the crews have all worked together extremely well.
"This is probably one of our most important operational and tactical exercises for our ammo Airmen," Chief Master Sgt. Melvin Jobe, PACAF evaluator, said during a previous exercise. "It's the only thing that we have in our community across the entire combat Air Forces which allows us to evaluate, in large-scale, these capabilities and we are fortunate to be able to do that here in the Pacific."
Despite the added workload and long shifts of simulated contingency operations, the Airmen excelled in all of their training and showed to be extremely capable of producing munitions in a wartime scenario.
"It will be great to take all of this training down range, it is like a kick starter for our upcoming deployments," Lamanuzzi said. "Even though we are not the largest force we have been, this just shows we can still get our mission done, destroy our enemies and get warheads on foreheads."