52nd FW loads live assets

  • Published
  • By By Tech. Sgt. Tony Plyler
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing participated in an ADM-160C Miniature Air-Launched Decoy, or MALD, and AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface-Standoff-Missile, or JASSM, generation exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, April 27, 2021.

Capt. Thomas Dequeant, 52nd Maintenance Squadron Operations Officer, said the event had Airmen load three live assets onto a stationary U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon, also known as a “Viper”, to help better prepare Airmen from start to finish.

“This exercise is operations and maintenance building proficiency on how to go from the initial planning all the way to the point where the loaded aircraft would normally depart,” Dequeant said. “These are the assets at the heart of the 52nd Fighter Wing’s Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses, or SEAD, mission.”

Dequeant said that this was the first time the wing has done both MALDs and JASSMs from beginning to end and the intent of the exercise was twofold.

First, it was to validate the ability of the 480th Fighter Squadron to mission plan MALD and JASSM and then handover the products to maintenance personnel.

Second, it was to validate the ability of Airmen from Avionics, Munitions, and Weapons to receive the mission planning data, effectively load the data onto the weapons, and finally, to successfully load the weapons onto the fighter jet.

The exercise concluded with more than two dozen pilots from the 480th Fighter Squadron getting first-hand familiarization with the assets.

“Due to the combined efforts of all members involved, this exercise was a resounding success,” said  Maj. Brian Herring, 52nd Operations Support Squadron wing weapons officer. “Starting with the 480th Fighter Squadron and ending Weapons loading the aircraft, we captured lessons learned and proved that the 52nd Fighter Wing is ready to execute one of its primary missions, Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses.”