USAF’s Eielson AFB airmen build first bombs for F-35A

30 June 2020 (Last Updated June 30th, 2020 11:47)

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.

USAF’s Eielson AFB airmen build first bombs for F-35A
The USAF airmen from Eielson AFB’s 354th Maintenance Squadron munitions flight have built the first bombs for the Fighter Wing’s F-35A Lighting IIs. Credit: USAF / Airman 1st Class Aaron Larue Guerrisky.

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).”