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Tyndall hosts Combat Archer: Evaluation through integration, employment

Three aircraft armament systems technicians assigned to the 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile onto an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The AIM-9X system includes infrared-tracking, air-to-air and air-to-surface capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Three aircraft armament systems technicians assigned to the 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile onto an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The AIM-9X system includes infrared-tracking, air-to-air and air-to-surface capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

An F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet assigned to the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., remains parked on the flightline during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall AFB, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. Combat Archer is part of the 53rd Wing’s Weapons System Evaluation Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

An F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet assigned to the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., remains parked on the flightline during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall AFB, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. Combat Archer is part of the 53rd Wing’s Weapons System Evaluation Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Three aircraft armament systems technicians assigned to the 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile onto an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The AIM-9X is a technologically advanced version of its predecessor, the AIM-9. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Three aircraft armament systems technicians assigned to the 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile onto an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The AIM-9X is a technologically advanced version of its predecessor, the AIM-9. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Senior Airman Caleb Crook, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aircraft electrical and environmental systems specialist, assists an aircraft launch during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The F-15E has the capability to fight its way to a target over long ranges, destroy enemy ground positions and fight its way out. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Senior Airman Caleb Crook, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aircraft electrical and environmental systems specialist, assists an aircraft launch during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The F-15E has the capability to fight its way to a target over long ranges, destroy enemy ground positions and fight its way out. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

An F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet assigned to the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., takes off during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall AFB, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

An F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet assigned to the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., takes off during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall AFB, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Two tactical aircraft maintainers assigned to the 157th Fighter Squadron walk along the flightline during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The F-16 Fight Falcon fighter jets from the 157th FS’s integration acted as alert aircraft and simulated an alert scramble replicating a homeland defense mission.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Two tactical aircraft maintainers assigned to the 157th Fighter Squadron walk along the flightline during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The F-16 Fight Falcon fighter jets from the 157th FS’s integration acted as alert aircraft and simulated an alert scramble replicating a homeland defense mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Airman 1st Class Bonifacio Garcia, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) tactical aircraft maintainer, prepares an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet for its flight back to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., at the conclusion of Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall AFB, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The 757th AMXS participated in Combat Archer to test new software on their aircraft and evaluate their performances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Airman 1st Class Bonifacio Garcia, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) tactical aircraft maintainer, prepares an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet for its flight back to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., at the conclusion of Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall AFB, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The 757th AMXS participated in Combat Archer to test new software on their aircraft and evaluate their performances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Airman assigned to the 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron preform a foreign-object damage (FOD) walk during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. FOD walks are designed to retrieve trash, rocks or other loose objects that pose a hazard to running aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Airman assigned to the 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron preform a foreign-object damage (FOD) walk during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. FOD walks are designed to retrieve trash, rocks or other loose objects that pose a hazard to running aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

An F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet assigned to the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., remains parked on the flightline during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall AFB, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. Combat Archer is the Department of Defense’s largest air-to-air live fire missile employment exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

An F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet assigned to the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., remains parked on the flightline during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall AFB, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. Combat Archer is the Department of Defense’s largest air-to-air live fire missile employment exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Staff Sgt. Troy Everson, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aircraft armament systems technician, prepares an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet for takeoff during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. A new software on the F-15E aircraft was evaluated during this iteration of Combat Archer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)
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Staff Sgt. Troy Everson, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aircraft armament systems technician, prepares an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet for takeoff during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. A new software on the F-15E aircraft was evaluated during this iteration of Combat Archer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Staff Sgt. Samuel Walker, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) tactical aircraft maintainer, prepares to launch out an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The 757th AMXS supports flying operations for the U.S. Air Force Weapon School, 64th Aggressor Squadron and Test and Evaluation missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)
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Staff Sgt. Samuel Walker, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) tactical aircraft maintainer, prepares to launch out an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The 757th AMXS supports flying operations for the U.S. Air Force Weapon School, 64th Aggressor Squadron and Test and Evaluation missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

An “EXPLOSIVES” sign warns of potential hazards on the flightline during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. Combat Archer is part of the 53rd Wing’s Weapons System Evaluation Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)
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An “EXPLOSIVES” sign warns of potential hazards on the flightline during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. Combat Archer is part of the 53rd Wing’s Weapons System Evaluation Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Airman 1st Class Bonifacio Garcia, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron tactical aircraft maintainer, cleans an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. Combat Archer is the Department of Defense’s largest air-to-air live fire missile employment exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)
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Airman 1st Class Bonifacio Garcia, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron tactical aircraft maintainer, cleans an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. Combat Archer is the Department of Defense’s largest air-to-air live fire missile employment exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

The 83rd Fighter Weapons Squadron conducted a Combat Archer exercise Sept. 16-27 on base.

Combat Archer is part of the 53rd Wing’s Weapons System Evaluation Program and the Department of Defense’s largest air-to-air live fire missile employment exercise.

“The purpose of this exercise is to evaluate the full spectrum of air-to-air employment,” said Lt. Col. Vaimana Conner, 83rd FWS commander. “It includes weapons loading, aircraft generation, weapons integration, aircrew employment and weapons effectiveness.”

This iteration of Combat Archer was the eighth exercise Tyndall has seen since Hurricane Michael.

“The test and training range near Tyndall is the only air space that can support this type of large scale event,” said Conner. “It was a major driving factor in keeping the base operating after the storm.”

Keeping the base operational has allowed for rotations of various units to participate in exercises while effectively testing and training their Airmen and aircraft.

“Combat Archer is the only opportunity for units to load and employ air-to-air weapons,” said Conner. “It’s a critical element of the U.S. Weapons School syllabus where future weapons officers are able to gain invaluable expertise that they can take back to their squadrons.”

This exercise was the first employment of the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, a technologically advanced version of its predecessor, the AIM-9. The new system includes infrared-tracking, air-to-air and air-to-surface capabilities, making it a better fit for fighter aircraft.

Conner explained, the base has a long history as a staple for aerial weapons employment. From its early beginnings as an aerial gunnery school, to being the predominant host of Combat Archer and the entire mission of the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group, Tyndall has proven its aerial abilities—even after the storm.

“Team Tyndall continues to thrive during the rebuild,” said Conner. “Exercises like Combat Archer showcase the vital importance that the base provides to the warfighter and Department of Defense.”