Gunfighters participate in Combat Archer and Hammer

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Over 200 airmen returned to Mountain Home AFB after participating Combat Archer and Hammer from Jan. 25 to Feb. 12 at Tyndall AFB, Florida.

Combat Archer and Hammer, a Weapons System Evaluation Program, combines the live air-to-air missile firing of Combat Archer and the air-to-ground bomb drops of Combat Hammer.

"I feel the TDY was a tremendous success," said Maj. Peter Yule, 389th Fighter Squadron assistant director of operations. "It took a tremendous team effort to get all the jets, personnel and associated cargo out of town and then back again. But, everyone went above and beyond to make it happen."

Performing this TDY not only took the coordination of many squadrons across the 366th Fighter Wing, but also the assistance from fellow airman with Travis AFB who provided airlift, Yule explained.

"It was a great feeling to see how many people were involved in a direct hit," said 1st Lt. Daniel Brosnan, 389th Fighter Squadron weapons system operator. "The integration of the wing coming together to support this TDY was huge."

The dropping of 55 bombs, missiles and the 243 sorties flown for Combat Archer and Hammer took the efforts of many different Air Force specialties. Aircrew, flight doctors, aviation resource management, aircrew flight management, weather and a number of other career fields from maintenance to include crew chiefs, ammo and maintainers attended this event.

For many of the aircrew members this was their first time firing live missiles at drone targets.

"To say we are going to go out and simulate this is great, but there is no replacement for actually getting to go out and do it with the real thing and see the effects immediately," Brosnan said. "There's just no replacement for training with the actual weapons that we are going to deliver when we go to combat."

Not only was it the real thing for the pilots and WSOs, Combat Archer and Hammer gave maintainers and members of logistics the opportunity to deliver and attach the bombs to an aircraft before takeoff and see it comeback with nothing.

"Everyone, from maintenance, to operations, to logistics walked away from the TDY better than we were before we went," Yule said. "The experience gained will contribute greatly to the 389th FS and 366th FW as a whole to be able to provide superior combat airpower in support of the U.S. and its interests, anywhere, anytime."