AMMO is ‘The bomb’ during RED FLAG-Alaska 16-1

Mark 82 bombs wait to be wired for use during RED FLAG-Alaska 16-1, May 9, 2016, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Each bomb must be thoroughly inspected before it is loaded onto an aircraft. Within Aircraft Munitions Maintenance Organization, different shops work like a distant assembly line, from storage, to building, then loading. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

Mark 82 bombs wait to be wired for use during RED FLAG-Alaska 16-1, May 9, 2016, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Each bomb must be thoroughly inspected before it is loaded onto an aircraft. Within Aircraft Munitions Maintenance Organization, different shops work like a distant assembly line, from storage, to building, then loading. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Thomas Johnson, left, and Master Sgt. Anthonio Dais, members of the 8th Maintenance Squadron, assigned to Kunsan Air Base, Republic of South Korea, assemble a Mark 82 bomb during RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) 16-1, May 10, 2016, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Aircraft Munitions Maintenance Organization Airmen from both Kunsan and Eielson built munitions for exercises RF-A and Northern Edge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Thomas Johnson, left, and Master Sgt. Anthonio Dais, members of the 8th Maintenance Squadron, assigned to Kunsan Air Base, Republic of South Korea, assemble a Mark 82 bomb during RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) 16-1, May 10, 2016, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Aircraft Munitions Maintenance Organization Airmen from both Kunsan and Eielson built munitions for exercises RF-A and Northern Edge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

A Mark 82 bomb gets labeled during RED FLAG-Alaska 16-1, May 10, 2016, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Once the munitions are fully assembled and ready for use, a timer can be set to make sure it explodes at a safe distance from the aircraft once dropped. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

A Mark 82 bomb gets labeled during RED FLAG-Alaska 16-1, May 10, 2016, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Once the munitions are fully assembled and ready for use, a timer can be set to make sure it explodes at a safe distance from the aircraft once dropped. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Scott Thorp, a 354th Maintenance Squadron metals technician, replaces threads on a Mark 82 bomb, May 10, 2016, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The Aircraft Munitions Maintenance Organization shop handles each MK 82 from start to finish. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Scott Thorp, a 354th Maintenance Squadron metals technician, replaces threads on a Mark 82 bomb, May 10, 2016, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The Aircraft Munitions Maintenance Organization shop handles each MK 82 from start to finish. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Scott Thorp, a 354th Maintenance Squadron metals technician, cuts coils to replace threads for a Mark 82 bomb, May 10, 2016, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Each member plays an important role when assembling the MK 82 from start to finish. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Scott Thorp, a 354th Maintenance Squadron metals technician, cuts coils to replace threads for a Mark 82 bomb, May 10, 2016, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Each member plays an important role when assembling the MK 82 from start to finish. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Scott Thorp, a 354th Maintenance Squadron metals technician, cuts holes for threading on a Mark 82 bomb, May 10, 2016, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. During RED FLAG-Alaska 16-1, Aircraft Munitions Maintenance Organization specialists assembled multiple bombs to be dropped for training operations in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Scott Thorp, a 354th Maintenance Squadron metals technician, cuts holes for threading on a Mark 82 bomb, May 10, 2016, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. During RED FLAG-Alaska 16-1, Aircraft Munitions Maintenance Organization specialists assembled multiple bombs to be dropped for training operations in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Anthonio Dais, the 8th Maintenance Squadron NCO in charge of precision guided munitons, assigned to Kunsan Air Base, Republic of South Korea, wires a Mark 82 bomb during RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) 16-1, May 10, 2016, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Dais said he enjoys participating in RF-A because he gets an opportunity for realistic, hands-on training in a simulated combat exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Anthonio Dais, the 8th Maintenance Squadron NCO in charge of precision guided munitons, assigned to Kunsan Air Base, Republic of South Korea, wires a Mark 82 bomb during RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) 16-1, May 10, 2016, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Dais said he enjoys participating in RF-A because he gets an opportunity for realistic, hands-on training in a simulated combat exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joe Cedillo, the 8th Maintenance Squadron assistant NCO in charge of conventional maintenance, assigned to Kunsan Air Base, Republic of South Korea, labels the settings of a Mark 82 bomb during RED FLAG-Alaska 16-1, May 10, 2016, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Prior to leaving the warehouse, Cedillo inspects each of the MK 82 bombs prior to them leaving the warehouse to ensure they are labeled accurately. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joe Cedillo, the 8th Maintenance Squadron assistant NCO in charge of conventional maintenance, assigned to Kunsan Air Base, Republic of South Korea, labels the settings of a Mark 82 bomb during RED FLAG-Alaska 16-1, May 10, 2016, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Prior to leaving the warehouse, Cedillo inspects each of the MK 82 bombs prior to them leaving the warehouse to ensure they are labeled accurately. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

U.S. Air Force maintainers from the 354th Maintenance Squadron and the 8th Maintenance Squadron, assigned to Kunsan Air Base, Republic of South Korea, assemble Mark 82 bombs during RED FLAG-Alaska 16-1, May 9, 2016, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Kunsan brought 10 Aircraft Munitions Maintenance Organization Airmen and will participate through Northern Edge exercise operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

U.S. Air Force maintainers from the 354th Maintenance Squadron and the 8th Maintenance Squadron, assigned to Kunsan Air Base, Republic of South Korea, assemble Mark 82 bombs during RED FLAG-Alaska 16-1, May 9, 2016, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Kunsan brought 10 Aircraft Munitions Maintenance Organization Airmen and will participate through Northern Edge exercise operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- RED FLAG-Alaska, known for its high-operations tempo, kept members of the 354th Maintenance Squadron Aircraft Munitions Maintenance Organization shop working at a fast-pace during the first of four total exercises scheduled for this calendar year.

After weeks of preparation, AMMO successfully executed RF-A 16-1 with preparation and training.

“Our normal day-to-day operations outside of RED FLAG is making sure our munitions stockpile is always ready to go and serviceable,” said Staff Sgt. Kenneth Washington, the 354th MXS conventional maintenance munitions inspector. “We’re prepared so that when RED FLAG rolls around, we don’t hit any snags or unforeseen circumstances so that we can do what we need to do without a hitch.”

Prior to RF-A, all AMMO Airmen are properly trained and ensured by trainers that that they are qualified to handle the munitions; specifically, Mark 82 General Purpose bombs for this mission.

“Once outside personnel arrive on station our guys need to be experts,” said Washington. “Some of the Airmen from other bases that come here might not be from a shop that allows them to work with bombs, so we must be on top of our game to make sure everything goes out safely.”

Within AMMO, different shops work like a distant assembly line, from storage, to building, then loading, each playing a critical part to safely transport the munition and ensure it leaves the aircraft without any discrepancies.

“Essentially, we are the ‘meat and potatoes’ of AMMO. We get all the components ready for the fighter jets, whether it is for our F-16 Fighting Falcons or any jets that are here for TDY operations,” explained Washington. “We get the munitions ready, we get the bombs, assemble them and ensure it is transported safely.”

To support the amount of munitions that needed to be assembled, units sent members from their AMMO shops to assist Eielson’s team.

“I love being here because I get hands-on the bombs again,” said Master Sgt. Anthonio Dais, the 8th MXS NCO in charge of precision guided missiles assigned to Kunsan Air Base, Republic of South Korea. “We brought ten of our guys from home to stay through RED FLAG and Northern Edge. My only wish for future exercises is to bring more of our people over so they can learn in this rapid environment.”