F-16 pilots from the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base captured the overall Top Team Award in the Gunsmoke exercises at Nellis Air Force Base with a score of 90.94 percent.

But overall, the pilots scored lower than expected because of new rules aimed at adding more realism to the bombing competition.Conducted Oct. 14-23, the exercises show the Air Force was successful in toughening the standards for the air-to-ground competition.

Aviation Week and Space Technology, a magazine devoted to the aerospace industry, says the scores were lower, in part, because of tougher scoring and penalties for flying straight and level for more than a few seconds during a bomb run.

Teams were also ordered to reduce their practice time to add to the realism.

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The magazine said pilots expected a score of 95 would be needed to win the competition, but most scores were below 86 percent.

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