HomeNewsArticle Display

177th Conducts a Combined Combat Skills Challenge

Combined Combat Skills Challenge

From left, U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jonathan Baez, Lt. Col. Matthew Crill, Airman 1st Class Michele Sangillo, Staff Sgt. Andrew Finnegan and A1C Jonathan Huynh pose for a photo with the 177th FW inaugural Combined Combat Skills Challenge competition trophy at the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J. on Aug. 18, 2019. The Airmen were the overall winning team, with the highest combined score for the weapons load, crew chief and pilot skills portions of the competition. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Senior Airman Cristina J. Allen)

Combined Combat Skills Challenge

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Michael Ward, center, and Staff Sgt. Daniel Umana, weapons loaders with the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing, compete in the Wing's inaugural Combined Combat Skills Challenge at the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J. on Aug. 17, 2019. The competition included weapons load, crew chief and pilot skills elements. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Merlock)

Combined Combat Skills Challenge

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dan Ogburn, weapons loader with the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing, competes in the Wing's inaugural Combined Combat Skills Challenge at the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J. on Aug. 17, 2019. The competition included weapons load, crew chief and pilot skills elements. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Merlock)

Combined Combat Skills Challenge

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Maurice Poole, weapons loader with the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing, competes in the Wing's inaugural Combined Combat Skills Challenge at the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J. on Aug. 17, 2019. The competition included weapons load, crew chief and pilot skills elements. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Merlock)

Combined Combat Skills Challenge

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Daniel Umana, weapons loader with the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing, competes in the Wing's inaugural Combined Combat Skills Challenge at the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J. on Aug. 17, 2019. The competition included weapons load, crew chief and pilot skills elements. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Merlock)

Combined Combat Skills Challenge

U.S. Air Force Staff Airman 1st Class Isabella Huddleston, weapons loader with the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing, competes in the Wing's inaugural Combined Combat Skills Challenge at the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J. on Aug. 17, 2019. The competition included weapons load, crew chief and pilot skills elements. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Merlock)

Combined Combat Skills Challenge

A 500 lb. inert BDU-50 practice bomb is released from a U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon with the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing at the Warren Grove Bombing Range in Ocean County, N.J. on Aug. 18, 2019. The pilot of the fighter jet was being graded on accuracy as part of the inaugural Combined Combat Skills Challenge, which included weapons load, crew chief and pilot skills competitions. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley)

Combined Combat Skills Challenge

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Michele Sangillo, crew chief with the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing, pauses for a photograph while competing in the Wing's inaugural Combined Combat Skills Challenge at the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J. on Aug. 17, 2019. The competition included weapons load, crew chief and pilot skills elements. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Merlock)

Combined Combat Skills Challenge

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jakob Ackerman, crew chief with the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing, competes in the Wing's inaugural Combined Combat Skills Challenge at the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J. on Aug. 17, 2019. The competition included weapons load, crew chief and pilot skills elements. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Merlock)

Combined Combat Skills Challenge
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 10 of 15

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Andrew Heigl, crew chief with the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing, competes in the Wing's inaugural Combined Combat Skills Challenge at the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J. on Aug. 17, 2019. The competition included weapons load, crew chief and pilot skills elements. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Merlock)

Combined Combat Skills Challenge
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 11 of 15

Team members of the 177th Fighter Wing's inaugural Combined Combat Skills Challenge look to the sky as a 500 lb. inert BDU-50 practice bomb is released from a New Jersey Air National Guard F-16C Fighting Falcon at the Warren Grove Bombing Range in Ocean County, N.J. on Aug. 18, 2019. The pilot of the fighter jet was being graded on accuracy as part of the competition, which included weapons load, crew chief and pilot skills elements. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley)

Combined Combat Skills Challenge
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 12 of 15

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Michele Sangillo, crew chief with the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing, competes in the Wing's inaugural Combined Combat Skills Challenge at the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J. on Aug. 17, 2019. The competition included weapons load, crew chief and pilot skills elements. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Merlock)

Combined Combat Skills Challenge
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 13 of 15

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Danylo Shevchenko, crew chief with the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing, competes in the Wing's inaugural Combined Combat Skills Challenge at the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J. on Aug. 17, 2019. The competition included weapons load, crew chief and pilot skills elements. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Merlock)

Combined Combat Skills Challenge
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 14 of 15

A 500 lb. inert BDU-50 practice bomb, released from a U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon with the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing, impacts the target at the Warren Grove Bombing Range in Ocean County, N.J. on Aug. 18, 2019. The pilot of the fighter jet was being graded on accuracy as part of the inaugural Combined Combat Skills Challenge, which included weapons load, crew chief and pilot skills competitions. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley)

Combined Combat Skills Challenge
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 15 of 15

Members of four teams from the 177th Fighter Wing's inaugural Combined Combat Skills Challenge pose for a group photo at the Warren Grove Bombing Range in Ocean County, N.J. on Aug. 18, 2019. The competition included weapons load, crew chief and pilot skills elements. From left, kneeling, are crew chiefs Senior Airman Jakob Ackerman, SrA Andrew Heigl, Staff Sgt. Danylo Shevchenko and Airman 1st Class Michele Sangillo. Standing, from left, are weapons load crew members SSgt Dan Ogburn, A1C Isabella Huddleston, SrA Taylor Montgomery, SSgt Maurice Poole, SrA Herys Rivera, A1C Rebecca Costill, SSgt Daniel Umana, SrA Brett Hopkins, SrA Michael Ward, SSgt Andrew Finnegan, A1C Jonathan Huyhn and SrA Jonathan Baez. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley)

ATLANTIC CITY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.J. --

Airmen of the 177th Fighter Wing participated in the inaugural Combined Combat Skills Challenge on August 17 and 18, 2019, here at the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base in Egg Harbor Township, N.J.

The challenge encompassed the generation of combat sorties, ranging from the maintainers’ preparation and loading of F-16 aircraft, to the pilots’ execution of the mission.

“As leaders, we try to maximize our Airmen’s time to increase our effectiveness,” explained Senior Master Sgt. Kenneth Rogers, 177 FW weapons manager.  “This challenge allows the youngest Airman to understand what goes into the entire aircraft generation process, which ultimately increases our effectiveness with the mission execution.”

In addition to being graded on actual task performance, all participants were required to take a written examination that tested their knowledge of their respective career field.  The questions for the test were taken from the various technical orders and guidance used by Airmen on a daily basis.

“The challenge put a lot of stress on all of us,” said Staff Sgt. Danylo Shevchenko, a crew chief assigned to the 177th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.  “We all worked hard, and it fostered a great sense of comradery and morale.”

The challenge culminated with 119th Fighter Squadron pilots and 227th Air Support Operations Squadron Joint Terminal Attack Controllers from the 177th Operations Group executing strafes and training bomb drops at the Warren Grove Range, a detachment of the 177th Fighter Wing.  All participants were invited to observe the pilot briefings and execution of the mission.

“A lot of times when Airmen are doing their job they don’t realize what the end result is, or what influence they are having when they are working day to day,” explained Col. Derek “Tazz” Routt, 177th Operations Group commander.  “Essentially, what they are seeing is their efforts, from beginning to end, culminate in the lethality of our weapon system and our mission in action.  As a leader, sometimes you have to stop and allow them to see their efforts, so they can reflect and realize what an impact they’re really having.”