Gunsmoke returns to Nellis with a twist
By Airman Bailee A. Darbasie, 99th Air Base Wing
/ Published November 20, 2018
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. --
Pilots and maintainers assigned to various flying squadrons throughout Nellis Air Force Base competed Nov. 15 in a Gunsmoke Competition held on the flightline and Nevada Test and Training Range.
Gunsmoke, which was once the U.S. Air Force’s premier air-to-ground competition, is now a modified version of the competition which puts the munitions, maintenance and Weapons School squadrons’ skills to the test through multiple events.
“We brought the competition back with some changes in order to boost morale and readiness across the flightline,” said Staff Sgt. Tyler Adams, 57th Maintenance Group Quality Assurance F-15 lead inspector. “The competition now follows the weapons from the time they’re built to the time they’re dropped.”
From weapons personnel loading the live weapons and crew chiefs perfectly launching the aircraft, to pilots using those weapons to hit their targets, each team was judged on their safety and execution.
“It was exciting to participate in such a rewarding event,” said Airman 1st Class Bonifacio Garcia, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Strike Aircraft Maintenance Unit F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet maintainer. “Competing to showcase our skills really brought the squadrons together and boosted morale within the units.”
In the end, the Raptor Aircraft Maintenance Unit and the 33rd Weapons Squadron won the overall competition and took home the Gunsmoke Traveling Trophy.
The 57th Wing plans on hosting more Gunsmoke Competitions for the flying squadrons to compete in.