Eglin Air Force Base hosts weapons evaluation exercise

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DESTIN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - When it comes to preparing for battle, recreating realistic scenarios helps prepare our troops for the real thing, and because of that training, the United States military is a force to be reckoned with.

Our local military forces are practicing what they do best, so they can be the best.

"We've got A-10s out here, we've got F-16s, we've got MQ-9s, we've also got several other planes fighting out there as well," Lieutenant Colonel Tapan Sen, Commander of the 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron said.

And that's exactly why the 53rd weapons evaluation group is conducting maritime weapons testing because practice makes perfect.

"This is a great opportunity for them to come out here and drop pretty much everything the Air Force has got in the arsenal and sharpen their skills," said Lieutenant Colonel Sen.

Air Force squadrons from around the country have come together to participate in this semi-annual exercise simulate realistic kill techniques through swarm attack formation maneuvers while military aircraft target from above.

"So we simulate a specific threat, which is a swarm threat. Several boats that potentially could go after and take out a larger U.S. ship, we just fine-tune our skills and just make sure that when they go to do that we're ready to take them on," said Lieutenant Colone Sen. "It gives them the opportunity to fly their aircraft and put the actual weapon on the aircraft and then they know exactly what it's going to feel like when they go downrange and do it in a couple months."

Gathering data from aircraft, weapons, and targets, this simulation allows them to make real-time decisions on the performance of the various weapons systems.

"We want to set them up with a scenario where it's going to be as close to combat as possible and they are going to be able to drop the weapons as close to combat as possible," Sen explained.

This exercise ensures that the employment of weapons works as intended thus enabling the war-fighter to accomplish the mission.

"They're definitely ready to go downrange and take the fight to the enemy," Lieutenant Colonel Sen added.

The training exercises are expected to last through Tuesday.