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By Airman 1st Class Seth Watson
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
In a milestone event, the Air Force Global Strike Command successfully executed its inaugural Combat Ammunition Production Exercise (CAPEX) on November 7, 2023, at Barksdale Air Force Base. This exercise evaluates munitions production capabilities and provides realistic training to enhance the Air Force's preparedness for wartime operations.
The primary goal of CAPEX is to assess munitions production techniques and procedures. By doing so, the exercise determines how well the current Base Support Plans and Munitions Employment Plans would support wartime operation plans.
The roots of CAPEX go back to 1987 when it was first initiated by Pacific Air Forces (PACAF). Over the years, these exercises have become an annual event, with U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) hosting their first exercise in 2018. These exercises serve as a crucial pulse check on mass, live-munitions production, aligning with Air Tasking Orders (ATO) and reinforcing combat planning and production tactics.
At its core, CAPEX is a proven method designed to train munitions personnel in contingency planning and production. It not only evaluates the wing's strengths and weaknesses but also identifies areas for improvement to meet potential mission generation requirements. The exercise contributes to command-wide enhancements, including improved munitions production capability, enhanced training plans, better tool and equipment management, updates to base support plans, improved war reserve material stockpile management techniques, and a more comprehensive understanding of Operational Plan (OPLAN) supportability.
In summary, the success of the first annual CAPEX at Barksdale Air Force Base signifies an important step forward in ensuring Air Force Global Strike Command's readiness for munitions-related challenges, ultimately enhancing the overall effectiveness of the force in fulfilling its mission.