TUCSON, Ariz., Feb. 15, 2018 —
At Davis-Monthan Air Force Base here, the 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron’s munitions flight, better known as AMMO, is responsible for building up and breaking down live bombs that are essential to maintaining a lethal Air Force.
The AMMO flight has continued to be put to the test since the beginning of the Cactus Flag 18-02 exercise, a large-scale training operation focused on ensuring the installation’s ability to effectively generate attack aircraft.
But aircraft can’t attack without bombs.
“We’ve been in 24-hour operations for about a week,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Anthonio Dais, noncommissioned officer in charge of the munitions flight. “We’ve built over 600 GBU-12s and GBU-38s, and about 21,000 rounds of munitions.”
Sustaining Davis-Monthan’s ability to destroy the opposition is no small task, especially during consecutive 12-hour shifts wearing mission-oriented protective posture gear. Because the airmen at the AMMO flight have been working at a grueling pace for a week straight, supervisors had to adapt and implement motivational strategies to make sure their team is performing consistently.
“We first want to make sure they understand their purpose,” Dais said. “I’m trying to use what I know to help them be successful. We’re a very important part of a grand design and having open conversation with the team helps them perform to the best of their abilities.”
The AMMO team must perform well throughout the exercise because it is a reflection of how they’re expected to perform in real-world operations. Yet, there’s always room for improvement.
“Once we got into the routine of things, it became a lot easier,” said Air Force Airman 1st Class Carl Davis, stockpile management crew member. “It didn’t take them long to become familiar with the operations.”
After a week of around-the-clock operations, airmen from the 355th EMS continue to provide excellent service and maintain mission readiness, not only during the Cactus Flag exercise but also for any fight, anywhere, any time.