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Verification readies newly operational Airmen for fight

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  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Members of the 9th and 345th Bomb Squadrons, executing the Air Force’s Total Force Integration concept, work around the clock to ensure they are always ready to execute combat operations when needed. While employing the mighty B-1B Bone from Dyess Air Force Base, aircrew study and hone their skills to employ global strike anytime and anywhere when directed by the combatant commands.


The pilots, weapon system officers and intelligence personnel go through an extensive two-week process, known as “verification,” as soon as they complete mission qualification training at their first duty station. The verification process confirms that crews have the skills necessary to be combat-ready and it instills trust in the unit of their capabilities.


“What verification does is test their knowledge of understanding of what is expected of them when tasked to go into combat,” said Capt. Colin Bryant, 7th Operations Support Squadron intelligence weapons and tactics branch chief. “Intel starts off the verification on the first week with something called a ‘road to war,’ explaining to the teams how they have gotten to the area that they are. They then have three days to plan out the intelligence preparation to build the battlespace and build out the target criteria that the aircrew will focus on for the following week.”


Teams execute scenarios based on what they would encounter in the real world. This provides them an in-depth exercise of the possible environments, while strengthening their readiness to provide capabilities anytime and anywhere with the B-1’s long-range strike capabilities. This is showcased in the second week during the integration between intelligence personnel and aircrew.


“During the integration phase, intel professionals will provide information on different threat systems and adversary capabilities while the crews will brief the air tactics planned to counter those factor threats,” said Maj. Mark Olme, 9th Bomb Squadron weapons officer. “The last week is in the simulators. They are long days of mission planning where intel and aircrew work together to solve the scenario they were presented. From there, the mission is executed to see how their plan would have stood up. Then they debrief that night, which translates to about a 17-hour day for everyone involved before doing it all again the next day.”


The teams go through a variety of topics during their planning and exams, such as defensive tactics, weapons employment, and Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile and Joint Direct Attack Munition integration.


“As a mission commander, you need to have the confidence your formation can execute their mission,” said Olme. “To go into combat and risk your life, you need to have trust in the people you are flying with. By sending people through this program, we are building trust in the squadrons. No matter whom you fly with, you know they have the capabilities to execute the mission and return home safe.”


Airmen are the foundational strength of every weapon system that provides the United States and our allies a distinct advantage. Verification helps ensure aircrew and intel personnel continue to be a dynamic force ready to respond at a moment’s notice to today's needs and tomorrow’s challenges.


“Verification is only the start of a long career of continual professionalism in the B-1 community,” said Olme. “As instructors, it is rewarding to see the growth and maturity developed within these two weeks. It is amazing to see the progress, and I am very proud of this group of new B-1 aviators and intel analysts as they stand on stage to present their lessons learned to the wing commander.”