Accountability priority for munitions personnel

By Airman Elliott Sprehe: 27th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — Fly, fight and win. This is only a small portion of the new Airman’s Creed and without being able to fight, how would the world’s greatest Air Force be able to win?

To be able to fight, munitions accountability is paramount to success and the 27th Equipment Maintenance Squadron’s munitions flight knows all about that.

To make sure Cannon is prepared to fight, the 27th EMS’s ammo flight is currently in the process of conducting a 100 percent munitions inventory.

“That includes bullets for security forces, explosives for explosive ordinance disposal, and any of the explosive items, such as bombs, missiles or whatever goes on any airplane,” said Maj. James Rich, 27th EMS commander.

“It’s an inventory of every single item in the munitions stockpile,” said Tech. Sgt. Dayton Wenzel, 27th EMS. “Everything is looked at from quantities, stock number, condition code and location.”

The Air Force level mandated inventory is conducted annually and any time there is a new Munitions Accountable Systems Officer, or MASO.

“It’s basically switching hands from one person to another,” said Wenzel. “That person is appointed by the maintenance group commander.”

To conduct an inventory the account is frozen and a blind inventory is done. If, after the blind inventory is done, something is missing, a recount is performed of the specific item that is missing, said Wenzel.

With Cannon’s transition to Air Force Special Operations Command, there will soon be different munitions that will be housed at the “ammo dump.” While F-16 specific munitions will leave, the majority of the inventory will remain the same.

“There are different types of munitions that will support the AFSOC aircraft versus what we fly on the F-16s,” said Rich, but “there is no difference in how we conduct the inventory.”

“Munitions accountability is my number one priority,” said Rich. “There’s nothing more important to me than making sure munitions go where they’re supposed to go.

“It’s incredibly important to give the public trust that we can account for our munitions items. They trust us with their national security. They have to trust us with the means of securing that national security.”

“I have 100 percent faith and trust in my guys out at the bomb dump,” said Rich. “I cannot do their job. Even an airman basic can do what he’s trained to do and I don’t have to watch him.

“We do dangerous things safely.”