A fighter pilot gears up and is ready for takeoff to complete a mission. He’s pumped and prepared to do his part for the Air Force.
As he prepares for departure, the pilot finds out that the munitions needed to complete his mission have corroded and are now unusable. Now the mission is canceled due to inspections not being done to verify if the assets were properly stored.
In an effort to prevent these kinds of situations from happening on Ramstein, 34 Airmen from specialties within the 86th Munitions Squadron came together for an essential inspection March 16. Formed into six teams, the Airmen joined up to conduct the semiannual, 100 percent inventory inspection.
Each office has its own set of goals to accomplish, that when pieced together, provide all of the information needed to achieve the 100 percent inventory.
“This is one of those times that the walls really fall down,” said 2nd Lt. Niko Ruud, 86th MUNS materiel flight commander. “Every shop helps participate in the inventory, so whether you work in the accountability, inspection or storage section, we’re all working together to make sure this happens.”
With almost $400 million worth of assets, the inventory can seem like a daunting task to accomplish, but the 86th MUNS does not shy away from a job they know needs to be done.
“If we lose accountability here, the Ramstein mission doesn’t happen,” said Master Sgt. James Nagle, 86th MUNS munitions accountable systems officer. “Without maintaining this stockpile, we would not be able to put anything down range for the warfighters.”
Ruud said that many people don’t always understand how munitions affect the Ramstein mission, or why there is a munitions squadron on Ramstein since they are usually at fighter bases.
“We execute a mission as a hub for U.S. Air Forces in Europe,” Ruud said. “We play a critical role here and that’s why it’s so important we maintain accountability of those assets; to make sure they’re stored properly and ready to go when needed.”
No matter the job, each Airman has an impact on how the mission is achieved. What may seem like extra work can be the critical line between failure and success. The 86th MUNS Airmen keep the mission running smoothly by doing their part in the well-oiled machine that is the Air Force.