9th MUNS trains personnel to build munitions (USA)
10/28/2008 - BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., -- Amidst the clouds of dust and heavy machinery students are applying what they have recently learned about building munitions. The constant clinking of metal on metal, the sound of diesel engines roaring to life and forklifts moving all around doesn't faze the students as they continue to focus on building munitions.
As part of a team effort, the 9th Munitions Squadron spends long hours training and developing personnel to effectively build munitions.
"The 9th Munitions Squadron's primary mission is conducting the Air Force Combat Ammunition Center's Combat Planning and Production Course," said Chief Master Sgt. Patrick Adams, the 9th MUNS superintendant of Air Force Combat Ammunition Center.
According to Chief Adams, the three week course is attended by senior airmen up to chiefs and company grade officers. The students devote their first two weeks to a challenging, 10-to-12 hour, academic environment. During the classes students learn to apply operation plans, global munitions positioning, and munitions tactics, techniques and procedures in an expeditionary environment. In week three, students deploy to the field to build and deliver live bombs in support of a grueling air tasking order supporting a fictitious conflict between North and South Berninia.
The course, more commonly referred to as "Iron Flag," trains Air Force personnel from all over the world. Currently there are 70 enlisted personnel and 15 officers who are taking the course. It is the job of the 9th MUNS to mentor and teach the students what they need to know about munitions, from assembly to disassembly.
Each bomb is built up by students, inspected by 9th MUNS advisors, torn down by the munitions flight, and inspected again, before it is re-packed and re-stored in the storage facilities called "igloos," said 1st Lt Brad Palm, 9th MUNS Munitions Flight officer in charge.
According to Tech Sgt. Brian Stratton, 9th MUNS Munitions Flight NCO in charge of munitions operations, students deal with a variety of munitions, including the Guided Bomb Unit-10, Cluster Bomb Unit-87, which is made up of more than 200 smaller munitions, CBU-103, and the 2,000 pound Bomb Live Unit-109 and the MK-84.
At the end of each of class, each student has completed more than 136 hours of accredited academic and practical studies that applies to the Community College of the Air Force. The squadron has also supervised the handling of nearly one million pounds of explosives at that time, Chief Adams said.
Aside from the teaching environment, the 9th MUNS also supports accounts around base.
The 9th MUNS has 27 custody accounts supporting operations such as the U-2, 9th Security Forces, OSI, and the flightline.
"We manage the accounts to ensure supplies are readily available for each operation," said Sergeant Stratton. "We want to ensure the $20 million stockpile of munitions is serviceable for the next event," he said.
As the students return to their respective bases, the 9th MUNS enters a two week reconstitution and preparations operation, Chief Adams said. After the two weeks, the class begins all over again.
Von: 28.10.2008, by Airman 1st Class Chuck Broadway, 9th RW Public Affairs, www.beale.af.mil