From Build to Boom: Munitions Line Delivery
By Staff Sgt. John Bainter, 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 18, 2013
HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. --
Those within earshot of Eglin Range, Fla., can hear the sound of freedom raining from the sky as 25, 40 and 105mm rounds strike targets with precise accuracy.
Airmen from the 1st Special Operations Equipment Maintenance Squadron munitions line delivery shop, deliver every round and retrieve every spent casing from missions originating at Hurlburt Field.
Line delivery drivers are responsible for ensuring every round fired from Hurlburt aircraft are delivered safely and checked for damage before handing them off to the aircrew.
"They shut down the two engines on the loading side, we pull munitions trailers up to the aircraft, hand them the rounds, they start the engines and take off as soon as we pull the trailer away," said Tech. Sgt. Steven Pinkerton, 1st SOEMS munitions line delivery assistant chief.
Loading 105mm rounds is physically demanding, said Pinkerton.
"You're lifting each 44 to 50 pound round above your head," he said. "And, and each load is 40 to 100 rounds."
The drivers' ability to deliver munitions quickly and safely enables missions here and around the globe.
"We get the munitions there as safely as possible," said Senior Airman Marcus Montgomery, 1st SOEMS line delivery driver. "The flightline understands we're not going to tow 30 mph because they need it as soon as possible. So, driving at 5 mph is just a precaution we take to get the munitions to the aircraft safely."
Once the munitions arrive, the line drivers and the aircrew inspect the rounds for signs of wear or damage. Any rounds rejected by the aircrew or line drivers returns to munitions maintenance for proper handling.
The line delivery shop is a vital link in the chain to overall mission success, according to Pinkerton.
"Munitions line delivery will continue to deliver aircraft ordnance and ammunition effectively and safely," said Pinkerton. "It's the dedication to mission, which makes the hard working team of line delivery drivers a crucial keystone in the 1st Special Operating Wing mission and effectiveness."