388th Fighter Wing awarded for William Tell performance

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kaitlyn Ergish 
  • 388th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah --  388th Fighter Wing was recognized with the “Major Richard I. Bong Fighter Integration Trophy” after participating in the Air Force’s first William Tell Air-to-Air Weapons Competition in 19 years.

From Sept. 11-15, at the Air Dominance Center in Savannah, Ga., carefully selected teams showed up ready to conquer the unknown challenges that lay ahead of them in several competition categories.

William Tell simulated real combat scenarios, challenging Airmen from across the combat air forces in air-to-air combat, aerial gunnery, air-to-ground targeting and command-and-control.

“We chose the best of the best performers from among our maintenance professionals,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Lone Jennings, 34th Fighter Generation Squadron William Tell weapons lead. “Watching them all work hard on the line was incredible. It was something that made us better as a team and that will increase our readiness as we begin to apply those lessons to our next deployment cycle.” 

Over the years, William Tell has earned its reputation as the pinnacle of air-to-air combat competitions and was a driving force behind advancements in aerial warfare tactics, technology and training. 

“It was an awesome event, it was an opportunity to show what the F-35 and our wing is capable of. Glad to be a part of aviation history” said Capt. Spencer “MOTOR” Thompson, 388th FW project officer for William Tell. “I’m thankful for my teammates both in the air and on the ground. There was a lot of behind the scenes work that had to be done, and at the end of the day they got jets in the air and we crushed it.” 

The return of William Tell signifies not only a celebration of the past but also a testament to the future of air superiority, organizers said. While not every team left William Tell with a trophy, every Airmen left with new experience that will help them on future deployments.