January 18th, 2018 13:38 EST
Maintenance Airmen Build Bombs, Prepare to Deploy
Maintenance airmen participated in a combat munitions training here Jan. 8-11 to train in building a joint direct attack munition and improving their readiness to perform in a deployed environment.
"It`s very important to be adept and comfortable with building bombs, because one mistake can put everyone in danger," said Air Force Airman 1st Class Colten Carey, 23rd Maintenance Squadron precision guided munitions technician. "Knowing what you`re doing before you step on to the bomb pad and being conscious of the situation is essential to mission success."
While learning to build the JDAM, safety and overall situational awareness were emphasized, the squadron`s noncommissioned officer in charge of combat plans and training said.
"We`re trying to give people the confidence for when they are deployed so they can look at the munitions out there and be adept to the situation," Air Force Master Sgt. Jackie Adair said. "Since we are in a training environment here, we don`t deal with warlike munitions on a daily basis, so this class is actually a refresher course to keep us combat ready."
The class included airmen from different sections within the munitions systems career field, such as munitions, storage, conventional, deliveries, stockpile management, inspections and line development.
"We`re bringing in people from all of our sections to teach them how to work together as a team, because that`s how it is downrange," Adair said. "When we`re deployed, we do our jobs as the mission deems necessary. So if the storage unit isn`t as important to the current mission as the maintenance operations, then everyone will begin to work on maintenance."
Along with trying to simulate a deployed environment, the class was geared toward building camaraderie and cohesion throughout the team, Adair said.
"This helps them come together as a team, because the people in this class have never actually worked together," he added. "When you`re downrange, you could be in a shop with people from all over the military, so having the flexibility to work with people from different specialties is imperative to the success of the entire unit."
At the end of the class, airmen took a test, and most of them agreed the class was beneficial.
"Overall, I feel a lot more confident on being able to be a productive member of a unit once I go downrange." Carey said.
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