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Deployed EAMXS Airman keeps bombs on targets

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Divine Cox
  • 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

When a U.S. Air Force mission involves dropping explosive devices, everything needs to be in perfect working order.

Responsible for maintaining launch and release of these devices on F-16 Fight Falcons, Senior Airman Kaleb Linn, 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew member, ensures that explosive devices, like bombs and rockets, can be accurately delivered on target.

“I do everything from testing and evaluating weapons systems to loading munitions onto the aircraft,” said Linn. “My job is to make sure that when a pilot pulls the trigger, the devices successfully launch away from the aircraft toward the target.”

Linn stated that he stays extremely busy certifying that every aircraft is equipped and ready to perform its mission when its go-time.

“When I come into work, we have our mass roll call, covering what we are going to be doing and where the munitions will be going for the day,” said Linn. “Then depending on what munitions drop off the aircraft, we will reload them or troubleshoot the jets to fix minor errors in the electrical systems, so that the systems are always running at 100%.”

According to Master Sgt. Walter Smith, 455th EAMXS weapons loading NCOIC, Linn’s position is critical to mission success of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing.

“Linn is responsible for maintaining the weapon's system on the F-16 Fighting Falcon as well as performing the weapons loads,” said Smith. “The F-16 requires its weapons system to provide close air support for our troops in combat and diminish any terrorist strongholds. Without weapons, we can't take the fight to the enemy.”

A native of Tampa, Fla., Linn currently deployed from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., and has been serving in the Air Force for three years.

“I joined the Air Force because I was really interested into traveling, which I have been able to do,” said Linn. “The Air Force also afforded me the opportunity for continued education, so that was also a big factor.”

Linn is currently on his first deployment and said he was motivated to be serving his country.

”I actually volunteered to come here,” said Linn. “I tried to extend to deploy with my old unit, but was denied, so when I permanent change of stationed, I volunteered again and got it.”

The mission of the 455th EAMXS is to provide safe, reliable, combat weapons-ready aircraft to take the fight to the enemy.

“We are kind of the first line of defense with air attack munitions,” said Linn. “We are here helping and defending Afghanistan; bringing it back to where it should be.”

While deployed to BAF, Linn said his favorite part about this deployment has been seeing the jets come back without any bombs on them and knowing that the bombs helped the people it needed to help.

 “We are really hands-on here,” said Linn. “We put these bombs up and the pilots take off. When they come back without those bombs, it’s really reassuring that each bomb that we drop makes this country a little safer for them and for us.”