DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Personnel from 7th Bomb Wing conducted Weapons System Evaluation Program testing during the Combat Hammer exercise at Dyess Air Force Base and the Utah Test and Training Range Mar. 13-16.
WSEPs are formal, two-week evaluation exercises designed to test a squadron's capabilities to conduct live-fire weapons systems during realistic combat missions.
"The B-1 is the most capable standoff missile platform in the fleet," said Col. Joseph Kramer, 7th BW commander. "No other Air Force in the world can do what the U.S. bomber force can do. We have extremely talented professionals that maintain and fly Dyess B-1s and our weapons system evaluation program showcases our real-world conventional strike to U.S. allies relying on us abroad."
This week, the 7th BW and mission partners from the 307th BW and Hill AFB, Utah successfully employed four AGM-158 joint air standoff surface missiles with effective targeting.
WSEP at Dyess was a team effort.
Airmen from the 7th Operations Group and 7th Maintenance Group worked together to make the exercise a success. They accepted, tested and delivered the weapons, provided communications, ensured readiness of the aircraft and generated, loaded and launched the aircraft.
"Of the U.S. bomber force, the B-1 carries the most stand-off weapons and we take pride in our precise mission planning and execution," said Maj. Mark Olme, 9th BS pilot and weapons officer. "This enables us to strike targets hundreds of miles away, at the time and place of our choosing."
According to 9th BS Commander, Lt. Col. Nathan Jenkins, all 16 aircrew who released weapons in support of the Combat Hammer exercise had never released a joint air to surface standoff munitions prior.
The reason for this in part, is because weapons employment is no cheap business. Over the course of just three days, the 7th BW employed $7.6M JASSMs, demonstrating the effectiveness of the number one priority weapon in the Combative Air Force inventory.
According to WSEP operations researchers from the 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron, the employment of the four JASSMs garnered a 100% successful hit rate.
Maj. Marcus Teadt, 86 FWS WSEP lead evaluator, was responsible for grading the effectiveness of the 7th BW exercise.
"The crews from the 9th BS, 7th MUNS and 7th AMXS performed admirably this week," Teadt said. "The data and observations collected this week provided invaluable insight for the Air Force planners and decision makers on the Combat Air Force's number one priority weapon."
"This is a testament to the training and expertise of the 9th Bomb Squadron and Team Dyess's ability to work together and demonstrate our primary mission of long-range conventional stand-off strike. The team crushed it!" said Jenkins.
Not only is this a message about the effectiveness of teamwork within the Air Force, it is also a message to partners and allies abroad.
"The execution by the 7th Bomb Wing and 489th Bomb Group as a total force should assure U.S. allies," said Kramer. "None of our allies have similar heavy conventional bombers. This week demonstrates that the Dyess B-1 fleet is prepared to defend U.S. national interests when our nation calls."
This exercise is part of the greater WSEP initiative, which will evaluate weapons employment at Dyess, Hurlburt, and Creech Air Force Bases. For more information about weapons systems employment, visit: www.af.mil/News/Tag/96694/weapons-systems-evaluation-program/