36th MUNS home to largest munition stockpile

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Robert Hicks
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Deep into the jungle, surrounded by brown tree snakes and wild boar, are a number of unassuming grass-covered munitions igloos filled with small-arms ammunition and conventional warheads ready to take the fight to the enemy.

The 36th Munitions Squadron is home to the largest munitions stockpile in the world, valued at $1.3 billion, supporting not only the Air Force, but sister services and several other countries.

The 36th MUNS Materiel Flight storage area holds munitions for the 36th Security Forces Squadron, 36th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal, the U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, along with any other aircraft passing through Andersen Air Force Base carrying munitions.

"Having the largest munitions stockpile in the world is a lot of hard work," said Staff Sgt. James Garrido, 36th MUNS Materiel Flight storage area supervisor. "We are, by far, the biggest and busiest shop in this bomb dump."

The materiel flight ensures proper storage practices are used, inspects and maintains the munitions, and ensures accountability of more than 9 million individual items. The squadron also does a 100-percent inventory inspection annually to ensure all stockpile items are present.

"When storing munitions, it is our responsibility to pay attention to detail," Garrido said. "We don't want to place two different types of bombs together that are not compatible, so we follow a chart to ensure it is safe."

There is never a minute to spare for the troops in the munitions storage area supporting the Pacific Command's continuous bomber presence, Exercise Cope North, Exercise Forager Fury, as well as HSC-25 missions.

"We always have something going on, whether it's supporting the Royal Australian Air Force or the Japan Air Self-Defense Force during exercises or just pulling out munitions to support day-to-day operations of the B-52 Stratofortress," Garrido said.

The Airmen in the storage area take pride in what they do day in and day out supporting the mission in the Pacific region.

"There is no greater feeling than pulling munitions out of storage knowing it's going to be used on a mission, even if it's just training," said Senior Airman Brian Fish, 36th MUNS Materiel Flight storage crew member.

Along with the 150 storage structures, the materiel flight is also in charge of 549 shipping containers filled with munitions. The flight is constantly getting in new munitions, and if another unit needs anything they will send it to them.

"If anything was to happen in this region, this bomb dump has the capability to support any incoming aircraft with any munitions that they need to take the fight to the enemy," Garrido said. "Just the thought of that alone gives me a sense of pride in my job."