BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. –
In January of 2020, missile attacks from Iran to U.S. installations in Iraq brought tensions between the two countries to a point that was feared to trigger a full scale war.
In response to this, AGM-158 Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM) from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., were sent down range to be used if needed to counter any future threats.
“JASSM missiles are an effective weapon that give our pilots the option to strike long range targets that our other bombs can't reach,” said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Marth, 2nd Munitions Squadron munitions controller.
It was the duty of the 2nd MUNS Airmen to send these munitions downrange and subsequently to make sure the weapons were retrieved and placed back into storage. Last week, those JASSMs were flown into Barksdale by a C-5 Galaxy. The Airmen spent much of the afternoon and morning collecting the munitions, making sure they were delivered intact and properly stored.
“Our job is to provide pilots and aircraft with munitions to carry out their missions,” Marth said. “When those munitions are not being used or on standby we keep them stored and secured.”
Air superiority is a key factor in keeping the Air Force the best in the world. These Airmen ensure that the jets are supplied with the right munitions for the mission at hand.
“If 2nd MUNS was to disappear from the bomb dump then the mission at Barksdale would not be fulfilled because of the amount of support we have on the base as a whole,” said Airman 1st Class Ivan Vargas, 2nd MUNS storage stockpile technician. “Having no munitions at Barksdale or at any base would make the base incredibly vulnerable no matter how much manpower is provided by other units.”
Shipping and storing missiles and bombs is a unique job that is important to the mission of not only the 2nd Bomb Wing, but to the Air Force.
“I like my job because it provides me with a multitude of opportunities that I previously did not have back in my home town and previous careers,” Vargas said. “The team dynamic in my squadron is not like any previously experienced in my life. The areas all across 2nd MUNS have a hand to hand brotherhood that will support one another in completing a specified task assigned.”
The Airmen of the 2nd MUNS will make sure that the weapons needed to defend this country are not only safe and secure, but are ready at a moment's notice to be loaded up.
“2nd MUNS is the backbone of Barksdale Air Force Base,” Vargas said. “Having us in the mission is essential in getting things done to help the 2nd Bomb Wing”