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Munitions squadron improves efficiency with new workstations

Senior Airman Alec Couture, munitions inspector with the 649th Munitions Squadron, inspects NASA assets on recently acquired electrostatic discharge workstations. The squadron recently purchased the workstations with Air Force Material Command squadron innovation funds, which has improved efficiency and safety of incoming and outgoing munitions inspections.

Senior Airman Alec Couture, munitions inspector with the 649th Munitions Squadron, inspects NASA assets on recently acquired electrostatic discharge workstations. With Squadron Innovations funds, the squadron recently purchased the workstations, which has improved efficiency and safety of incoming and outgoing munitions inspections. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Diana Lawson, munitions inspector with 649th Munitions Squadron, verifies part numbers on a asset with a newly acquired lighted magnifier. The squadron recently purchased new electrostatic discharge workstations with Air Force Material Command squadron innovation funds, which has helped the squadron inspect incoming and outgoing munitions faster and safer.

Diana Lawson, munitions inspector with 649th Munitions Squadron, verifies part numbers on a asset with a newly acquired lighted magnifier. With Squadron Innovations funds, the squadron recently purchased the workstations, which has improved efficiency and safety of incoming and outgoing munitions inspections. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Senior Airman Alec Couture, munitions inspector with the 649th Munitions Squadron, heat seals a barrier bag, which holds assets for repackaging, with newly acquired equipment. The squadron recently purchased new electrostatic discharge workstations with Air Force Material Command squadron innovation funds, which has helped the squadron inspect incoming and outgoing munitions faster and safer.

Senior Airman Alec Couture, munitions inspector with the 649th Munitions Squadron, heat seals a barrier bag, which holds assets for repackaging, with newly acquired equipment. With Squadron Innovations funds, the squadron recently purchased the workstations, which has improved efficiency and safety of incoming and outgoing munitions inspections. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah --

Efficiency and safety has been improved in the 649th Munitions Squadron’s inspection bays with recent facility upgrades, including the installation of new electrostatic discharge workstations.

The workstations were installed in busy munitions inspections bays, where military and civilian Airmen inspect an average of six or seven truckloads daily of incoming and outgoing munitions. Munitions Shipping and Receiving Section Chief Master Sgt. James Lesley said the workstations, purchased with Squadron Innovation Funds, have helped workers reduce inspection times by about 10 man-hours per week.

“These new modular inspection stations have greatly increased capabilities for our inspectors,” Lesley said. “The old stations had limited space for holding basic supplies.  The new stations hold much more, and in a more convenient and organized configuration, saving multiple daily trips to the supply area.”

Lesley said the workstations, which cost about $150,000, have also improved safety. They are designed to integrate advanced static discharge and grounding systems, as the table’s surface and area grounding points eliminate static hazard to explosives.

The stations are also modular, so the entire design is versatile, allowing inspectors to adapt their work areas to meet individual needs.

Munitions inspector Senior Airman Alec Couture, said the improvements have made a major difference in productivity, more than doubling the number of inspections that can happen simultaneously.  

“Each inspector now has their own workstation, making the work go much faster,” he said.

Squadron Innovation Funds directly support innovative ideas pitched by Airmen, giving units the power to problem solve and make incremental, cutting-edge technological improvements without having to rely on approval from leadership at the Pentagon.

As part of the Air Force Sustainment Center, the 649th Munitions Squadron's more than 200 active-duty, Reserve and civilian Airmen provide munitions support to the warfighter around the globe, sustaining Air Force, Department of Defense, NASA and allied warfighters.