Combat Capability Demonstration held by 363rd Training Squadron

  • Published
  • By Julie Svoboda

The 363rd Training Squadron put theory into practice for Weapons and Ammunition Airmen in Training during a Combat Capability Demonstration November 9, 2023, here.

With AiTs cheering them on and the rain pouring down, instructors from the weapons and ammo schools engaged in a friendly competition to see which team safely assembled and loaded weapons on an F-15, F-16 or A-10 fastest. 

VIDEO | 01:54 | Combat Capability Demonstration

“Today’s demonstration was designed to show AiTs the mission generation process for both Ammo and Weapons,” said Maj. Kevin Huwel, 363rd TRS Commander. “For the instructors, this experience helped build teamwork between the two career fields, while having some fun showing off their craft.  For the AiTs this was the first time witnessing the whole munitions process starting with the delivery, moving onto the bomb build and then aircraft loading of munitions within minutes of the build.”

For Airman Miguel Lemmas, AiT at the 363rd TRS, the event was a preview of what the operational world holds in store for him and a chance to see his instructors put their expertise to the test.

“We’re going to get some insight and knowledge about how the whole operation works,” he said. “Because a lot of what we've been doing is hands-on, but most of it is just learning and going through lessons and seeing it on paper. But now we’re seeing how the actual equipment works when it's operated by professionals, such as our instructors and other sergeants.”

The event has been in the works since June of this year, with Staff Sgt. Rafael Molina Diaz, F-15 Weapons Instructor, spearheading the effort. According to Molina, the demonstration served dual purposes – a morale boost for AiTs and showing how weapons and ammo work together to complete a mission. Understanding how each job affects another is the first piece in producing multi-capable Airmen.

“To make an aircraft ready to fly is not just weapons,” he said. “It requires us to do the weapons portion of the aircraft, but the aircraft also requires maintenance like changing tires, working with your hydro lines in the cockpit, so we have other AFSCs; for example, crew chiefs. The Air Force came up with the MCA concept, which is a multi-capable Airmen. They want us to focus on doing our job. But once you're proficient at what you do, you should be able to also work as a team and help them, because we never know what could happen in the future. We need to be ready for everything.”

Huwel is ready for more events like this and hopes to expand them.

“With this combat capability demonstration being a complete success, even with the rain, we do intend to do this again,” he said. “For future demonstrations we would like to include other squadrons to show the full process of an aircraft generation.  The 363rd TRS would like to make this a quarterly event in the future.”

Additionally, Huwel acknowledged the efforts of those who made the demonstration possible.

“Thank you to M1 Contractor Support for their support of pulling the aircraft out of the hangar and to all the instructors that made today’s event a success,” he said. “Squadrons interested in participating in future combat capabilities demonstrations, please reach out to 363rd TRS leadership.”