DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Since Sept. 11, 2001, most people that served in the military thought that a bomb maker was a bad guy. But not all bomb makers are bad guys. There are 232 good guy bomb makers supporting the 7th Bomb Wing mission on Dyess AFB, Texas, working in a facility located on aptly named, Ammo Road.
The mission of the 7th Munitions Squadron is to provide reliable munitions and release equipment. They also provide chaff and flares to both the 7th Bomb Wing and the 317th Airlift Wing.
These ammo Airmen make the B-1 Lancer the most lethal bomber in the world. They provide munitions when required, with the correct configuration and at the right time. Besides supporting Dyess AFB B-1 Lancers, they support the 7th Security Forces Squadron military working dog training, Combat Arms Training Maintenance and the 7th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit with C-4.
There are two Air Force Specialty Code career fields in the munitions community, 2W0 Munitions Systems Technicians and 2W1 Armament Release System Specialists. These two AFSCs are earned at Shepherd Air Force Base, in Wichita Falls, Texas. After technical school, these Airmen require significant training on the job. Airmen progress through the bomb building process based on their skills, performance and desire. The most experienced and proficient Airmen become inspectors.
Capt. Cody Wolf, acting commander of 7th Munitions Squadron said the morale of his 107 NCO and 115 Airmen ‘death dealers’ is high and there is strong unit cohesiveness. He said his Airmen do a lot together when not building bombs. They go fishing and golfing, they build haunted houses for Halloween in the Abilene community, they help sell fireworks for Independence Day, and they work with the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post. “The 7th MUNS has strong community ties,” Wolf said
“The MUNS culture is tight knit,” Wolf added. Most of his Airmen selected the ammo career field. Airmen normally remain with the squadron for four years; some have been at Dyess for 10 years or more.
Though the commander and senior NCOs handle normal personal problems, Wolf stressed that none of these problems are mission related.
As part of the MUNS mission, certain munitions have to be configured specifically for the B-1 and are built based on the mission requirements that originate from commanders. The arming of the bombs and the installation of fins of all types and capabilities are based on the weapon size, purpose and mission requirements. Bombs and components are delivered to the Conventional Maintenance section for assembly.
Munitions and release systems are then delivered to the B-1 ready for loading. The 7th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron will accomplish any additional steps to mate them to the aircraft.
The ammo culture could be the role model for any unit cohesiveness if it wasn’t so unique. It has a single purpose and a single focus; to make the B-1 the most lethal weapon in the Air Force inventory.
“Without the ‘death dealers’, the B-1 would be the largest four-seat passenger jet in the world,” said Chief Master Sgt. Philip Hensley, Squadron Superintendent.