JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
Airmen in the munitions flight perform tasks that are vital to JB Charleston's mission such as base support, flightline support, and NASA and spaceX support.
Staff Sgt. Bradley Halfin, NCO in charge of conventional maintenance assigned to the 437th Maintenance Squadron, said the flight has many responsibilities that are important to the safety of the base.
“The munitions flight supports the 437th mission by providing explosive items that are needed,” he said. “We support the aircraft by giving them flare sets so they know they are safe when they’re flying in dangerous places, we support security forces by providing them with ammunition so they can guard the base, and we support explosive ordnance disposal so they can dispose of dangerous items that they find.”
Airman 1st Class Cory Klingener, a conventional maintenance crew member assigned to the 437th maintenance Squadron, explained why the flight is critical to JB Charleston's mission.
“Without us the planes can't go in the air safely,” he said. “Our flares keep the C-17s safe from infrared seeking missiles.”
Halfin said NASA and SpaceX support was implemented a few months ago and explained how it is supported by the flight.
“Whenever SpaceX launches a spaceship, there are recovery teams in place that are ready to recover people if something happens to them,” he said. “We support them by giving them flares so those people can do their mission properly.”
Klingener explained other ways the flight supports SpaceX.
“Every time SpaceX does a launch, we have a C-17 ready with various supplies in case something goes wrong in the air,” he said “Flare wise, we keep them supported.”
Halfin believes the safety provided by the flight is the most important thing they do.
“I believe the most important thing we do is the flares because of the safety they provide the aircraft,” he said. “They wouldn't be able to complete their mission without that because a jet could potentially get shot down.”
JB Charleston aircraft is safer because of the 437th Maintenance Squadron Munitions flight.