Airmen from USAF Eielson Air Force Base’s (AFB) 354th Maintenance Squadron munitions flight have built the first bombs for the 354th Fighter Wing’s F-35A Lighting IIs.
The bomb was built by munitions personnel following an intricate process ensuring the bomb body is usable by operators.
During the building, the munitions are initially barged, a process that involves receiving, transporting and storing of the explosives.
Once completed, the munitions airmen continue to assemble the bomb.
Airmen at Eielson AFB plan to build a total of 70 bombs in a week. The munitions flight will mass-produce bombs.
USAF 354th MXS operations officer Captain Christina Merritt said: “During this process, and depending on the bomb they are building, (munitions personnel) will add a guidance and control unit, tail kit and fuse to a basic bomb body.
“Each of these components work together to make up the type and purpose of the bomb.
“We typically work to build bombs in a mass fashion. Mass builds are done using an assembly line process, where each airman has a particular job and we can produce multiple bombs at once.”
Munitions serve as a key component to ensure Eielson AFB’s F-35s meet initial combat capabilities. Participants of exercise Red Flag-Alaska have ammunition to train.
The development will ensure future preparedness of Eielson AFB’s troops.
354th MXS conventional maintenance inspector Airman 1st Class Daelyn Mayer said: “It is very rewarding to be a part of making history. I think it’s awesome to get to say we built the first bombs for the F-35s that are here at Eielson (AFB).”