649th MUNS: Providing world-class munitions support

  • Published
  • By Donovan Potter, 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE – As part of the Air Force Sustainment Center at Hill AFB, the 649th Munitions Squadron's more than 200 active-duty, reserve and civilian Airmen are different from traditional Ammo units.

At any other Air Force installation with a flying mission, Ammo troops build and deliver munitions for their specific aircraft on the flightline.

The men and women of the 649th are experts at providing "World-Class Munitions Support to the Warfighter," sustaining Air Force, Department of Defense, and allied warfighters all over the globe.

As the sign outside the Roy Gate indicates, the 649th performs their wartime mission at home.

“That’s what we do,” said Senior Master Sgt. James Ochoa 649th Munitions Squadron Material Flight chief. “That’s what we do on a daily basis. We take munitions that come in from other locations, get them on aircraft pallets and immediately ship them into the region destination.”

Ochoa said depending on what they’re sending out, they have pallets ready to go in as little as 12 hours. In a non-contingency scenario, their munitions pallets are ready to go in 72 hours.

Staff Sgt. Zachary Luthy, 649th MUNS Standard Air Munitions Packages production supervisor said they work alongside the 75th Logistic Readiness Squadron to get approval on the configuration to be sure the loads are air worthy.

“We palletize the assets, create all the shipping documents and deliver it to the flightline for final transportation,” he said. “The job satisfaction comes from knowing that nobody else in the DoD does what we do or even comes close.”

The 649th MUNS is one of the only units in the world that fulfills a depo role along with providing swing stock munitions to the warfighter.

A military theater has what is called starter stock munitions that could be used in case of a contingency operation. They’re the munitions already in place on hand to support a conflict for determined number of days.

“When that stock begins to deplete, we come in with a swing stock,” Ochoa said. “We provide swing stock munitions in a rapid fashion wherever it’s needed to support the warfighter.”

The unit's STAMP mission, involves placing bombs, missiles and bullets onto aircraft pallets for shipment via cargo aircraft to warfighters around the globe.

“We were recently tasked to support a presidential STAMP directive to provide some munitions aid packages to the warfighter,” Ochoa said. “They depend on our team here to provide safe and reliable munitions within the given timeframes on a global scale to any theater or region that requires immediate munition resupply.”

After working long, hard 12-hour shifts to accomplish a specific directive, Ochoa said it’s very satisfying to see the results in the media.

“When open-source media reports on happenings in these countries and we can see the results of what we just sent, that’s pretty awesome,” he said. “The report says these are the assets being used and they’re the same assets that just came through this location”.

The ultimate satisfaction, Ochoa said, is working together as a team on STAMP.

“When the team comes together to accomplish the mission, that’s what excites me.”