AMMO brings 'boom' to Red Flag

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle
  • 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
The lone sounds of various aircraft roar through the skies of southern Nevada and off in the distance, munitions are released toward their target over the 2.9 million acre Nevada Test and Training Range.

However, before the munitions can be discharged over the NTTR, the 57th Maintenance Squadron's Munitions Flight, or "AMMO," has to receive munitions from the Global Ammunition Point at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, process and prepare them before they can be attached to the aircraft.

"When the assets arrive here, they are checked-in and stored, or if needed immediately, downloaded right to the build-up location," said Tech. Sgt. Jared Bow, 57th MXS accountability NCO in charge. "When it is time to build the components into complete rounds, munitions storage is tasked to deliver the components and conventional maintenance, and small bombs, to conduct the assembly operations. Complete rounds are loaded onto trailers and transported to the flightline by line delivery. Weapons personnel then load the aircraft."

When a munition is checked into the 57th MXS, it is the control element's responsibility to maintain situational awareness of transactions, deliveries, build-up, movements, personnel involved and any emergencies that may arise.

"Approximately two weeks out from the date of request, we pull the asset from the structure and complete the required inspections," said Master Sgt. Brian Steenburg, 57th Maintenance Squadron precision guided munitions element chief. "We then load the asset onto munitions trailers for delivery to the aircraft."

The small bombs portion of the munitions life cycle is receiving the munitions from storage, processing, preparing and providing them to line delivery to bring to the aircraft.

The day-to-day operation at AMMO is to support the flying mission by providing various munitions to the units. During Red Flag, the munitions support increases to help ensure success.

"During the exercise, our munitions support mission can increase drastically," said Tech. Sgt. Brett Jameson, 57th MXS small bombs NCOIC. "With the integrated TDY individuals, we often run 24-hour operations to support both TDY and home units."

Increased munitions support from AMMO helps Nellis AFB's overall effort at Red Flag, which makes the exercise as realistic as possible.

Without the munitions and support the various elements within AMMO provide, the pilots would be unable to train with realism, said Jameson.

"We give them the opportunity to train as close to a combat environment as possible so they will have no problems being lethal when needed," he added.

The munition training found at Red Flag is designed to be as realistic and close to a combat environment as possible.

"Our missile systems, match if not surpass the newest generation of enemy missiles," said Steenburg. "This translates into a superior training environment in the air. Meaning the countermeasures employed or the maneuvering of the aircraft may not 'fool' these missiles, so better tactics have been developed and passed onto the pilots."

The 57th MXS Munitions Flight's missiles systems help create the superior training environment found at Red Flag.

They support many U.S. and allied air force units, as well as integrate 50 or more TDY AMMO service members while facilitating up to 200 or more aircraft into their day-to-day operations during exercises.

AMMO provides pilots realistic combat training allowing them to be lethal when needed in real-world operations.