An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Oct. 18, 2023

8th FW hosts bilateral Peninsula-wide munitions load competition

By Tech. Sgt. Emili Koonce, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Munitions Airmen from Osan AB and Kunsan AB competed at Pen Fest, the annual bilateral munitions load crew competition, Oct. 14.

The load crews from Osan AB hailed from the 25th Fighter Generation Squadron and 36th FGS while Kunsan AB was represented by the 35th FGS, 80th FGS and ROK Air Force mission partners from the 38th Fighter Group.

All five teams were evaluated on their ability to efficiently load three different munitions onto their respective aircraft. While the event is timed, quality assurance evaluators confirm the team’s accuracy and factor any deficiencies into the overall score. 

“Yes it is about speed but it’s also about proficiency,” said Senior Master Sgt. Benjamin Nicholson, 35th FGS weapons section chief. “When the pilots get in the jet we have to ensure that munitions are going to deploy and fire at the right time, so our crews have a lot of pride in their role of ensuring that loads are done by the book.”

Before the load crews faced off, munitions systems specialists from both bases went head-to-head in a munitions-building competition. Munitions systems specialists, commonly known as ammo troops, were also evaluated on how fast they completed their tasks and how few discrepancies they made, if any.

The 8th Maintenance Squadron ammo team brought home the win as the U.S. Air Force and ROK Air Force load crews prepared for their competition.

“I’m feeling a little nervous as this is my first base but very confident in my crew and in the training we’ve conducted to prepare for today,” said Airman 1st Class Edward Saenz, 25th FGS load crew member, prior to the event. “I want to make our squadron proud and walk away more experienced.”

At the sound of “Go!” all five teams dashed into action as they loaded an MK-82, GBU-31 and AIM-9 Sidewinder onto their squadron’s aircraft.

Dust settled and scores tallied, the 35th FGS from Kunsan AB emerged victorious.

“It’s hectic when you’re out there because all you can hear is cheering, but I just toned everything out and focused on what I’m supposed to be doing to get the job done,” said Airman 1st Class Jack Sheldon, 35th FGS load crew member. “This was my first Pen Fest and I learned you have to take it very seriously because we’ve got some really good loaders out here in the ROK.”

While only one squadron can walk away with the trophy, Pen Fest is designed so that all teams leave with a broader understanding of their strengths and what areas they can improve upon.

“Thanks to all the organizers who put together this event where we can recognize all the weapons load teams across the Peninsula,” said Col. Jeffrey D. Shulman, 8th Fighter Wing deputy commander. “I hope each team takes home a stronger sense of camaraderie and motivation to come back and win next year.”

CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
Tempest Express Builds Multinational Crisis Response Capabilities
May 23, 2024 - Mongolia, the United States, and other global partners participated in the Tempest Express 39 multinational workshop in Ulaanbaatar, May 14-22, 2024. Tempest Express 39 builds upon continued coordination of previous...

USINDOPACOM PMTEC Commercial Industry Day
240517-N-ZZ099-1011 (17 MAY 2024) U.S. Indo-Pacific Command 's Pacific Multi-Domain Training Experimentation Capability (PMTEC) program office, led by Dr. Andre Stridiron recently hosted an Industry Engagement event which drew over 160 representatives from nearly 60 companies in attendance.
May 23, 2024 - U.S. Indo-Pacific Command 's Pacific Multi-Domain Training Experimentation Capability (PMTEC) program office, led by Dr. Andre Stridiron recently hosted an Industry Engagement event which drew over 160 representatives from...

First US Army Reserve and Philippine Army Reserve Subject Matter Expert Exchange
U.S. Army Reserve 1st Sgt. David Albert, assigned to 3rd Mobilization Support Group, facilitates a block of instruction on personal data sheets to members of the Philippine Army Reserve during Exercise Balikatan 24 at Echague Isabela, Philippines, April 10, 2024. BK 24 is an annual exercise between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the U.S. military designed to strengthen bilateral interoperability, capabilities, trust, and cooperation built over decades of shared experiences. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Maj. Gene Espinoza)
May 22, 2024 - U.S. Army Soldiers from the 3rd Mobilization Support Group, held the first-ever Army Reserve Subject Matter Expert Exchanges with the Philippine Army Reserve during Exercise Salaknib and Exercise Balikatan 24 in April, 2024...

15th SPSS innovates with Mount Official Scheduling System
Members of the Mount Official Scheduling System team pose atop the 10,023-foot summit of Haleakalā in Hawaii. In just under six months, the MOSS team created and deployed a web-based application that provides the warfighter with 15-20% more Space Domain Awareness data. (Courtesy photo provided by U.S. Air Force Maj. Matthew Holland)
May 22, 2024 - Perched atop the 10,023-foot summit of Haleakalā in Hawaii, lives Space Delta 2’s 15th Space Surveillance Squadron. The 15th SPSS operates the Maui Space Surveillance Complex and is home to small, medium, and large-aperture...

Pacific Air Forces Airmen participate in multilateral logistics, safety symposium in New Zealand
Ally and partner nations' personnel gathered for the annual Indo-Pacific Command and Pacific Air Forces C-130 and Fighter Logistics and Safety Symposium, or LASS, in New Zealand May 13-17, 2024. Countries in attendance this year included: United States, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)
May 22, 2024 - Ally and partner nations gathered in New Zealand for the annual Indo-Pacific Command and Pacific Air Forces C-130 and Fighter Logistics and Safety Symposium, or LASS...