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AMMO keeps heartbeat

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Allen Jenlink, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron precision guided munition crew chief, holdsU.S. Air Force Senior Airman Allen Jenlink, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron precision guided munition crew chief, holds up a hollow bolt at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 30, 2018. up a hollow bolt at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 30, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Allen Jenlink, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron precision guided munition crew chief, holds up a hollow bolt at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 30, 2018. Hollow bolts or screws make it easier to release a missile from an F-16 Fighting Falcon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class BrieAnna Stillman)

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron (EMS) inspect an AGM-88 missile at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 30, 2018.

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron (EMS) inspect an AGM-88 missile at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 30, 2018. The 20th EMS prepare multiple missiles for training and suppression of enemy air defense mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class BrieAnna Stillman)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Dillon Richey, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron precision guided munition crew chief, checks a cable on an AGM-88 missile at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 30, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Dillon Richey, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron precision guided munition crew chief, checks a cable on an AGM-88 missile at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 30, 2018. F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots and munitions must be able to communicate in order to hit the correct target. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn Brewer)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Larry Wallace, left, and Senior Airman Allen Jenlink, right, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron precision guidance munitions crew chiefs, work together to replace a cable on an AGM-88 missile at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 30, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Larry Wallace, left, and Senior Airman Allen Jenlink, right, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron precision guidance munitions crew chiefs, work together to replace a cable on an AGM-88 missile at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 30, 2018. The missile is an air-to-surface tactical missile designed to seek and destroy enemy radar-equipped air defense systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn Brewer)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- While many Team Shaw members are sound asleep, some Airmen must continue to keep the heart of the base beating with 24-hour operations.

The 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron is one of many squadrons that work throughout the night.

During a recent shift, precision guided munition crew chiefs from the 20th EMS replaced a cable on an AGM-88, high-speed anti-radiation missile, which enabled the pilot and missile to communicate.

“It’s really important for the pilot to be able to communicate with the missile because we have the suppression of enemy air defense mission here,” Airman 1st Class Mario Agundez, 20th EMS PGM crew chief. “Training is a big part of our mission so when the pilot gets out there they know how the missile is supposed to act, and what they’re supposed to hear and see.”

The F-16 Fighting Falcon is the only aircraft in the Air Force currently using the AGM-88 missile. The missile is an air-to-surface tactical missile designed to seek and destroy enemy radar-equipped air defense systems.

“There are different types of AGM-88 missiles,” said Senior Airman Allen Jenlink, 20th EMS PGM crew chief. “Some are better at honing in on targets than others, which makes them more lethal.”

All of Team Shaw members play a vital role in keeping the heart of the base beating 365 days a year, 7 days a week and 24-hours a day.

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