Munitions house Patriots

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Anthony Sanchelli
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
With the arrival of the Patriot missile batteries to Turkey, as part of a NATO endeavour to help stabilize the region, many units from the 39th Air Base Wing here have been actively participating in the new mission. The 39th Maintenance Squadron munitions section is one of those units that play a key role in the continued success of the Patriot mission.

The munitions operations is a twofold unit, on one side they directly handle the safety and movement of the missiles as well as access to munitions areas, and on the other side, they in-process and inventory all accountable items involved with the mission.

"We continually handle the security and support of the stored munitions and any operation done inside the munitions storage area," said Senior Airman Derek Wasson, 39th MXS conventional stockpile munitions inspector. "Since the Germans and the Dutch are not authorized unescorted entry into the munitions area, we escort them in and provide access to their assets."

Wasson and his section continually oversee inbound and outbound assets while maintaining the required strict explosive operation guidelines to ensure safety for all involved.

"We also ensured the buildings that house all the assets were in compliance with explosive limit standards," said Wasson. "This gave the wing real time status of all ongoing operations."

Movement and storage of the Patriots was vital to the missions set-up, however, without the accountability of these items movement and storage may not have been a success.

"Our section in-processed and inventoried all munitions assets and weapons for the U.S. and Dutch NATO Patriot contingent," said Staff Sgt. John Brinegar, 39th MXS munitions operations craftsman. "We identified, cleaned, readied and cleared two buildings for use by the U.S. Army's personnel."

Brinegar's section provides command and control for all movement of explosives within the base and facilitating inventories.

"We track all the explosives' weight, total number of assets and their locations," said Brinegar. "Our section also escorts all NATO personnel that require access to the munitions storage area."

With the combination of these sections, the Patriot mission continues to be a success, providing safety and stability.

"Although challenging and demanding, it is also rewarding and exciting to work with our NATO partners and joint forces," said Brinegar. "In all, we stored, managed and inventoried over $200 million worth of NATO arms and munitions dedicated to the security of our host nation."