Ellsworth Air Force Base airmen build bombs for future combat

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RAPID CITY, S.D, (KEVN TV) - Ellsworth Air Force Base airmen are building bombs to prepare for upcoming flights and combat operations.

Building a bomb isn't easy unless you follow the steps. From screwing on the nose plug to fastening on the tail, several airmen create an assembly line to build these fake GBU 38 bombs. The purpose is to train airmen to assemble bombs for when it's time to go into combat.

These airmen assemble bombs on a monthly basis. In the last three months, the airmen have created about 300 bombs.

The staff sergeant of the 28th Munitions Squadron says if you have a crew like this, a bomb can be built in just 15 minutes. He says these bombs are not made just to attack enemies, but to protect our people.

"I want my guys if there going to go down, down range, I want them to know exactly what their doing. Because if they send a bomb out and it gets loaded on an aircraft and it's not built correctly and hits the ground and doesn't go off or it goes off target, we have a whole other problem,"
says 28th Munitions Squadron Staff Sergeant Christopher Blankenship.

These bombs weigh about 500 pounds. They're made for "soft targets" such as small buildings and stationary vehicles.

But without communication from the team, the production would fall apart.

"Communication between the crew members takes place because it's like your assembly line mentality. If you miss a step there could be a malfunction with the munition," says 28th Munitions Squadron Chief Patrick Vanvranken.