Andersen Airmen participate in B-52 loading exercise

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Airmen from the 36th Maintenance Group participated in a 12 hourlong munitions loading exercise July 13, 2016 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

The exercise tested their ability to quickly and safely load a B-52H Stratofortress with munitions. The ability to properly load an aircraft with munitions is integral to provide combat-ready aircraft in support of U.S. Pacific Command’s continuous bomber presence mission.

“LOADEX is a weapons loading exercise where we fine-tune our loading capabilities,” said Senior Master Sgt. Christopher Shaver, 36th Wing weapons manager. “Every month the load crews practice efficiency loading to become better prepared if the whistle ever goes off.”

During the exercise, Airmen practiced loading inert munitions including, AGM-86 Conventional Air Launched Cruise Missiles and AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles. A single B-52H can hold up to 20 missiles and eight bombs, making it capable to carry a diverse range of weapons.

“Our goal is to show that we can load an entire B-52 in a quick, safe and reliable manner and get the job done,” said Master Sgt. Alan Lewis, 36th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons section chief.

The B-52s and their aircrews are currently deployed here to support the continuous bomber presence mission, now in its twelfth year. Forward-deployed presence demonstrates continuing U.S. commitment to stability and security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. U.S. Pacific Command’s area of responsibility covers 52 percent of the globe, which makes strategic bombers a valuable asset to ensure effective long-range global attack capability, assuring our allies while deterring potential adversaries.