Mike Graham, 902nd Logistics Readiness Squadron Munitions Flight, moves small arms ammunition into a storage locker Oct. 26 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. (U S Air Force photo by Joshua T. Rodriguez) (Photo by Joshua T. Rodriguez)
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas —
Munitions play a major role in the daily activities of organizations throughout Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, from supporting combat arms training and the 902nd Security Forces Squadron's mission, to meeting the 12th Flying Training Wing's pilot ejection and life support requirements.
It's up to the nine civilians who compose the 902nd Logistics Readiness Squadron Munitions Flight to ensure all these organizations' munitions needs are met.
"We provide the safe receipt, storage, issue and inspection of all the ammunition and explosives on base," Patrick Fox, 902nd LRS Munitions Flight chief, said. "We do everything from forecasting and requisitioning to inspecting, storing and transporting these items."
Fox said ammunition and explosives on Randolph support a variety of aircraft, staff training and mobility requirements with the exception of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions and combat munitions training for deployment.
"While a large percentage of daily activity is generated to support aircraft maintenance, the stockpile is equally balanced to support personnel training and daily operations that drive the amount of explosive operations conducted annually," he said.
Fox said each unit forecasts and receives a yearly allocation to meet their needs.
"That drives what we receive and store for them," he said. "The Air Force procures all the ammunition and explosives for each base and they're housed at the depot level."
Fox said the munitions stockpile at Randolph, stored in two structures totaling 4,500 square feet, consists of 416 line items with a total value of $1.2 million. Munitions run the gamut from Claymore mines, fragmentation grenades and TNT to explosive time-change items for ejection seats, flares and multiple gauges of ammunition.
"The munitions area was expanded in 2008 from 1½ to 17 acres in size," he said. "We've had close to $2 million worth of infrastructure improvements to support the mission, and now we have a new administrative facility being built out there."
Fox said the flight's manpower requirements have more than doubled since 2003 because its JBSA mission and number of explosive operations "have grown tremendously.
Fox said the increase in manpower and expansion of the physical plant reflect the growth of munitions operations.
"The increase in munitions operations is a direct result of the Air Force assuming managerial responsibility for all T-6 aircraft explosives in 2004," he said.
Other factors are an increase in the type and quantity of aircraft assigned to the 12th FTW and the addition of more organizations requiring munitions to support 502nd Air Base Wing and JBSA mission taskings.
In addition to supporting the missions of the 12th FTW, 902nd SFS and other organizations at Randolph, the munitions flight supports the Air Force-managed 502nd SFS at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. The flight also provides safe parking for commercial carriers moving explosives through the San Antonio area and performs nearly 70 inventories per year.
Fox, who said the munitions flight must stay flexible to meet the Air Force's changing needs, said the flight's members are entrusted with an important mission.
"The safety, security and accountability of ammunition and explosives in today's environment cannot be overstated or overemphasized," he said. "We have an inherent responsibility to the public and our customers to maintain and control the best explosives available for use."
Fox said the flight's focus is customer service.
"It's important to reassure our customers that, during the JBSA transition, at no time will we sacrifice customer support," he said. "Our personnel and munitions area will remain intact to serve them at any time."