HomeNewsArticle Display

388th FW drops GBU-49 in combat training

A pilot assigned to the 388th Fighter Wing's 34th Fighter Squadron drops a GBU-49 bomb from an F-35A Lightning II Nov. 7. 2018. The 34th FS is the first unit to employ the GBU-49 in combat training. The squadron recently completed a Combat Hammer weapons evaluation exercise at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Pilots say the GBU-49 is effective and accurate and will make the F-35A even more lethal. (Courtesy Photo by 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron)

A pilot assigned to the 388th Fighter Wing's 34th Fighter Squadron drops a GBU-39 bomb from an F-35A Lightning II Nov. 7. 2018. The 34th FS is the first unit to employ the GBU-39 in combat training. (Courtesy Photo by 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah; (AFNS) -- The 388th Fighter Wing’s 34th Fighter Squadron recently returned from a weapons evaluation exercise at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, where they employed the GBU-49 for the first time in F-35A Lightning II combat training.

The GBU-49 is a laser and GPS guided bomb that can be used in a variety of conditions against many types of moving or stationary targets.

“It’s a really flexible weapon. It was reliable, accurate, and effective,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Johnston. “Like any new weapon, what we learned, and what we will learn as we continue to train with the GBU-49, will directly impact our tactics and will make the F-35A even more lethal.”

During the weapon’s exercise, Combat Hammer, teams assessed the readiness of Hill’s weapons crews, maintainers, and pilots as they built, loaded and employed the F-35As weapons.

“Combat Hammer validates our tactics, techniques and procedures and builds the confidence in our Airmen that we are ready for our wartime mission,” Johnston said.

While the pilots have been training to employ the GBU-49 in the F-35A flight simulators at Hill AFB, they learned a lot while flying in this Combat Hammer, said Lt. Col. Michael Albrecht, 388th Fighter Wing director of staff.

“In a normal Hammer, you’ve dropped these weapons a hundred times in live training and you’re validating the process,” Albrecht said. “This was our first time with this particular weapon. The pilots communicated well, and every day shared things from sortie to sortie that refined our tactics.”

Local training on the Utah Test and Training Range with live and inert GBU-49s will begin soon.

Hill AFB is slated to be home to three F-35 fighter squadrons with a total of 78 aircraft by the end of 2019. The active duty 388th FW and Air Force Reserve 419th FW will fly and maintain the jets in a Total Force partnership, which capitalizes on the strength of both components.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
To all those who helped establish the long blue line past, present and future, we honor you and we remember with th… https://t.co/teymF7proy
#ASC19: "We’re all in this together trying to make your service to country the best experience on the planet. We w… https://t.co/rdbCDBJr2c
#VCSAF Gen. Stephen Wilson speaks on what makes the #AirForce unique. #ASC19 https://t.co/gStwUZoaQC
RT @AFSpace: @AstroHague takes #aimhigh to the extreme by celebrating the @usairforce's birthday from the @Space_Station! #FrontiersofBlue
RT @VP: Happy 72nd birthday to the @usairforce! On behalf of a grateful nation, thank you to the amazing men and women of the Air Force for…
#ASC19: There's a challenge to maintain warfighting capabilities until new bombers and missiles arrive. Hear more f… https://t.co/SWB3VjNod8
#ASC19: Want to know which three acquisition trends #AirForce acquisition experts believe should "go viral?" Click… https://t.co/hsiH3oQXOX
RT @NSAGov: Happy Birthday to the @usairforce! For 72 years you've taught us to aim high. We look forward to continuing to fly, fight, and…
RT @AFGlobalStrike: The Air Force is celebrating 72 years of service, so here is 72 seconds of Global Strike Command! #USAFBday #ThisIs72 h…
Moments like this one between @GenDaveGoldfein and retired Col. Charles McGee remind us of where we've been as we f… https://t.co/LlhJhfdHQb
ICYMI: @ActingSecAF Matthew Donovan announced Sept. 16 at #ASC19 that the B-21 Raider is being produced in Northrop… https://t.co/XTsOnLwrTw
ICYMI: @ActingSecAF Matthew P. Donovan announced on Sept. 16 at #ASC19 that the Air Force’s all-new advanced traine… https://t.co/9MULuV7vFN
RT @USNavy: To be young again... #HappyBirthday, @usairforce! Congrats on 72 years playing a key role in the National Defense Strategy. He…
RT @USArmy: Join us in wishing the @usairforce a #happybirthday! They may have separated from the Army in 1947, but they have been trail br…
RT @ActingSecAF: Thanks @EsperDoD for speaking at @AirForceAssoc #ASC19 & chatting with our exceptional #Airmen who are dedicated to sharpe…
.@CMSAF18: Be a good human being... https://t.co/mxT3sLg4fp
.@CMSAF18: The RTP was a call to action for all of us to be leaders of conviction. Provide Airmen hope. Provide the… https://t.co/FEdmldGHXj
.@CMSAF18: Persistence, passion, perseverance. Being an #Airmen is tough. We must have grit in us. We can't quit wh… https://t.co/iPj3wRx0fl
.@CMSAF18: Lead with conviction, stand up for what you believe in.