898th MUNS Support Section keeps squadron moving

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Jason Rubenstein
  • 898th Munitions Squadron
The 898th Munitions Squadron Support Section handles all of the maintenance support requirements for the entire squadron.

The support section plays a key role in the success of our upcoming Nuclear Surety Inspection and nuclear surety on a daily basis. They provide everything from office supplies to vehicles for use during operations. Their biggest job is supporting the daily maintenance operations conducted by the squadron's maintenance flight.

There are multiple operations that occur simultaneously, which makes for a fast-paced work environment. Daily operations consist of issuing consolidated tool kits, chemicals and handling equipment to the munitions technicians performing maintenance each day.

There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that is involved in keeping all of the equipment in pristine condition. Every single item in the support section is tracked and identified through several databases: the tool accountability system, integrated maintenance data system and the maintenance information gathering system. Accurate tracking and accountability are vital tasks, because all equipment requires an inspection before being issued out and used for maintenance actions.

Besides accounting for and maintaining over 4,000 tools and 482 pieces of handling equipment, there are 34 vehicles that are assigned to the squadron. A tremendous amount of effort is devoted to the maintenance and operation of these vehicles. Vehicles assigned to the squadron include forklifts, 2.5 ton trucks, tractors and 40-foot trailers. All are necessary to complete the mission at the 898th Munitions Squadron and attention to detail is critical.

Additionally, the support section manages numerous programs that must adhere to state and federal laws as well as Air Force instructions.

One program in particular is the hazardous material program. This program has zero tolerance for errors and large fines are incurred for failed compliance. The munitions squadron has the base's only 90-day hazardous material accumulation point.

The support section maintains 10 separate waste streams to identify and segregate hazardous materials. The section performs periodic inspections and inventories of 368 hazardous chemicals used to sustain 11 critical maintenance tasks on seven different weapon systems.

Another program with strict guidelines is the armory. The 898th is the only squadron other than security forces that has its own dedicated armory. The section is also responsible for the accountability and preventive maintenance inspections of 83 small-caliber weapons and 2,090 rounds of ammunition.

The support section, while not as high profile as some of its sister sections, nonetheless remains a critical link in successful maintenance operations for the 898th MUNS and nuclear surety on a daily basis.