HomeNewsArticle Display

Airmen perform first F-35A weapons load verification

Tech Sgt. Russ Fontaine maneuvers the guided-bomb-unit-31 into position to be loaded onto an F-35A Lightning II Aug. 27, 2013, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. This marked the first time Airmen have loaded weapons onto the new joint strike fighter here. Each step and procedure was analyzed to ensure it was correct or needed to be changed. The weapons load procedures perfected by the MXG Airmen will be taught to maintenance students in the future. Fontaine is assigned to the 33rd Maintenance Group. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Tech. Sgt. Russ Fontaine maneuvers the guided-bomb-unit-31 into position to be loaded onto an F-35A Lightning II Aug. 27, 2013, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. This marked the first time Airmen have loaded weapons onto the new joint strike fighter here. Each step and procedure was analyzed to ensure it was correct or needed to be changed. The weapons load procedures perfected by the MXG Airmen will be taught to maintenance students in the future. Fontaine is assigned to the 33rd Maintenance Group. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Tech. Sgt. Jamal Smith secures a warhead to the front of a guided-bomb-unit 12 before it’s attached to an F-35A Lightning II Aug. 27 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. This marked the first time Airmen have loaded weapons onto the new joint strike fighter here. Each step and procedure was analyzed to ensure it was correct or needed to be changed. The weapons load procedures perfected by the 33rd Maintenance Group Airmen will be taught to maintenance students in the future. Smith is assigned to the 33rd MXG. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Tech. Sgt. Jamal Smith secures a warhead to the front of a guided-bomb-unit 12 before it’s attached to an F-35A Lightning II Aug. 27 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. This marked the first time Airmen have loaded weapons onto the new joint strike fighter here. Each step and procedure was analyzed to ensure it was correct or needed to be changed. The weapons load procedures perfected by the 33rd Maintenance Group Airmen will be taught to maintenance students in the future. Smith is assigned to the 33rd MXG. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Master Sgt. Karen Griffin and Tech. Sgt. Russ Fontaine maneuver the guided-bomb-unit-31 into position to be loaded onto an F-35A Lightning II Aug. 27, 2013, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. This marked the first time Airmen have loaded weapons onto the new joint strike fighter here. Each step and procedure was analyzed to ensure it was correct or needed to be changed. The weapons load procedures perfected by the 33rd Maintenance Group Airmen will be taught to maintenance students in the future. Griffin and Fontaine are assigned to the 33rd Maintenance Group. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Master Sgt. Karen Griffin and Tech. Sgt. Russ Fontaine maneuver the guided-bomb-unit-31 into position to be loaded onto an F-35A Lightning II Aug. 27, 2013, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. This marked the first time Airmen have loaded weapons onto the new joint strike fighter here. Each step and procedure was analyzed to ensure it was correct or needed to be changed. The weapons load procedures perfected by the 33rd Maintenance Group Airmen will be taught to maintenance students in the future. Griffin and Fontaine are assigned to the 33rd Maintenance Group. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Master Sgt. Karen Griffin informs the jammer drive which way to turn to get the guided-bomb-unit-31 into position to be loaded onto an F-35A Lightning II Aug. 27, 2013, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. This marked the first time Airmen have loaded weapons onto the new joint strike fighter here. Each step and procedure was analyzed to ensure it was correct or needed to be changed. The weapons load procedures perfected by the 33rd Maintenance Group Airmen will be taught to maintenance students in the future. Griffin is assigned to the 33rd MXG. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Master Sgt. Karen Griffin informs the jammer drive which way to turn to get the guided-bomb-unit-31 into position to be loaded onto an F-35A Lightning II Aug. 27, 2013, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. This marked the first time Airmen have loaded weapons onto the new joint strike fighter here. Each step and procedure was analyzed to ensure it was correct or needed to be changed. The weapons load procedures perfected by the 33rd Maintenance Group Airmen will be taught to maintenance students in the future. Griffin is assigned to the 33rd MXG. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Master Sgt. Karen Griffin maneuvers the guided-bomb-unit-12 into position to be loaded onto an F-35A Lightning II Aug. 27, 2013, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. This marked the first time Airmen have loaded weapons onto the new joint strike fighter here. Each step and procedure was analyzed to ensure it was correct or needed to be changed. The weapons load procedures perfected by the 33rd Maintenance Group Airmen will be taught to maintenance students in the future. Griffin is assigned to the 33rd MXG. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Master Sgt. Karen Griffin maneuvers the guided-bomb-unit-12 into position to be loaded onto an F-35A Lightning II Aug. 27, 2013, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. This marked the first time Airmen have loaded weapons onto the new joint strike fighter here. Each step and procedure was analyzed to ensure it was correct or needed to be changed. The weapons load procedures perfected by the 33rd Maintenance Group Airmen will be taught to maintenance students in the future. Griffin is assigned to the 33rd MXG. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) --

After months of preparation the weapons troop standardization load crew, or SLC, from the 33rd Maintenance Group performed the first munitions load verification on the F-35A Lightning II here Aug. 27. 

"Over the next couple of days, our 33d Fighter Wing maintenance professionals, alongside representatives from the F-35 Program Office and Air Combat Command, will validate weapons loading procedures. This involves loading and unloading laser-guided and GPS-guided bombs, and air-to-air missiles into the weapons bays of the aircraft and ensuring the instructions we provide our load crews are accurate and effective - one more step towards F-35 initial war fighting capability," explained Lt. Col. Ron Huzzard, the deputy commander of the 33rd MXG.

The SLC has been practicing this load verification using a series of tabletop exercises for several months. This marked the first hands-on load verification for the crew. 

"Watching our weapons troops verify loading procedures was like getting a glimpse into the future. Ultimately, this will be the work that is performed down range when it counts, and we are laying that foundation here at Eglin," said Navy Capt. Lance Massey II, the commander of the 33rd MXG. "The stealth capability on the F-35 is beyond incredible, but the weapons capability rounds out the whole purpose of the joint strike fighter." 

The procedure was overseen by Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Wilbur, the wing weapons manager at the 33rd MXG.

"The Airmen walked through the technical instructions to verify the data is accurate and make adjustments as necessary," Wilbur said about the verification load exercise.

The three-person SLC included Master Sgt. Karen Griffin, Tech. Sgt. Russell Fontaine and Staff Sgt. Steven Dash. Working as a cohesive team, the trio carefully performed several iterations of loading and unloading four different munitions. Once the procedures are verified SLC members will train the weapon troops. 

"Getting this step verified in ALIS (the automated logistics information system) for the F-35A is important, so we can move forward and get our 60-plus maintainers trained and working," Griffin said.

Engage

Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: #HeroesOfCOVID19 Airman 1st Class Joseph Charboneau is one of more than 300 @OKGuard members that stepped forward to help…
Twitter
Staying fit to fight requires you to maintain healthy habits. Make sure that you are fueling your body properly as… https://t.co/0mkeZ2IZGG
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: The @173rdFW partnered with local distributors to bring 390 boxes of fresh product to Airmen under the USDA Coronavirus F…
Twitter
An exclusive inside look at the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, part of the Air Force Installation and Mission Sup… https://t.co/yKmxltx8jY
Twitter
Check out the Weapons Bay Door Pass maneuver! @F35demoteam https://t.co/UMiq6jrsjt
Twitter
How do you show your pride? 🏳️‍🌈 📹 U.S. Air Force video by Staff Sgt. Lexie West @RAFMildenhall #ReadyAF #AimHighhttps://t.co/igxb1cFKxa
Twitter
Many have invisible wounds. Our Airmen are our most valuable asset -- we must continue education and encourage tho… https://t.co/lZORmqacPL
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: .@WI_Guard teams have surpassed a milestone of 150,000 #COVID19 specimens collected, supporting a statewide effort to inc…
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: A KC-46 Pegasus assigned to the 56th ARS at Altus AFB, Okla., prepares to refuel a C-17 Globemaster III from the 58th AS du…
Twitter
Take a look at @3WG_CC's latest mission video. The 3rd Wing is assigned to @PACAF's Eleventh Air Force, stationed a… https://t.co/kO6rbHGnhF
Twitter
Capt. Stephanie Kompoltowicz, a nurse @386thAEW, and Senior Airman Lauren Frensley, a flight medical technician… https://t.co/txUpLCrJxA
Twitter
Capt. Joshua Chambliss provides an inside look at the training and day-to-day life of a Cyber Operations Officer.… https://t.co/jfWp6x2Qxl
Twitter
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” Congratu… https://t.co/NlNTTTDiMC
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: Congrats to the @AFResearchLab 's Dr. Candice Hatcher-Solis on being honored with the Women of Color STEM Technical Innovation…
Twitter
.@RAFMildenhall Bloody Hundredth Spark Tank is collecting ideas! 📹 U.S. Air Force video by Capt. Nathanael Callon… https://t.co/EgHfTya2dz
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: 🗣️ Check out the latest "The Air Force Starts Here" 🎙️ - talking the new total force @USAFRecruiting "Aim High" phone app!…
Twitter
On this day, 70 years ago, 100,000 North Korean troops poured across the 38th parallel starting the Korean War.… https://t.co/dRlTXrhRnD
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,243,944
Follow Us