Ammo prepares to light up training grounds at Jaded Thunder
By Tech. Sgt. Sarah Pokorney, 124th Fighter Wing
/ Published October 14, 2012
10/14/2012 -- The airmen of the 124th Munitions Flight trained Sunday with the SUU-25 Flair Dispenser in preparation of providing critical battlefield illumination to Operation Jaded Thunder in November at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.
Sunday's training with inert flares prepared the airmen to inspect and load flares into the SUU-25 that will be attached to A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft. They will deploy live flares during the exercise to support the troops and operations on the ground.
"The flairs release for battlefield illumination," said Master Sgt. Mark Page, NCOIC of Munitions Storage
Senior Airman David Jensen, a munitions inspector, explained his objectives for the week-long training exercise, "Just get in there, get the work done, provide support to the flightline and pilots, and make sure they get their training. "
To start the training Airman 1st Class Jeff Santos conducted a safety brief to ensure that everyone took their jewelry off and donned their personal protective equipment. Then, Airman 1st Class Warren Hull read the procedure directly from the technical order while Tech. Sgt. Mike Terbush conducted the training.
While Hull read a note or warning in the technical order everyone in the training group would sound off and repeat the word "note" or "warning." This draws the group's attention to this important part of the instruction.
"It helps us make sure that everyone knows something important is coming," said Page.
The SUU-25 Flare Dispenser can hold up to eight flairs. The flairs are loaded into the dispenser by ammo personnel and delivered to the aircraft. The SUU-25 is then attached to the aircraft by weapons loaders. The SUU-25 can dispense different kinds of flairs for different mission requirements. Some flares ignite immediately when ejected from the dispenser to decoy missiles fired at the aircraft. Other flares, called the 8 LUU-1, are deployed to mark a target on the ground or the 8 LUU2 pyrotechnic flares that, like the ones that will be used at Jaded Thunder, illuminate the battleground.
Eighteen Munitions personnel will be supporting Operation Jaded Thunder. They will be covering two shifts with three components: conventional maintenance, day and night shift line-d which delivers munitions to the aircraft. They have been conducting for more than a year
"We are on a 15 month training cycle and are able to train 10 people each drill," said Tech. Sgt. Terbush.
The local training and the Jaded Thunder exercise will also prepare them for the Snowbird exercise coming up in January at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona and, more importantly, for real world deployments.