By Airman 1st Class Mercedes Porter, 7th Bomb Wing Public AffairsFrom rotary launchers to bomb racks and targeting pods, airmen continuously test, repair and perform daily maintenance on the equipment used to drop munitions from the B-1B Lancer.
These airmen are the 7th Munitions Squadron armament back shop. Their day-to-day missions ensure that the 7th Bomb Wing provides ‘Death from Above.’“They call them load toads, loaders or weapons,” said Captain Michael Miller, 7th Munitions Squadron operations officer.
“The armament back shop personnel maintain billions of dollars’ worth of aircraft maintenance equipment.”
With the B-1’s mission to deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time, it is imperative that the airmen in the armament back shop are thorough and precise with their work for the weapons’ systems on the aircraft.
Some tasks for aircraft armament system airmen are: loading, unloading and positioning munitions on an aircraft; to operationally check and electrically test aircraft weapons release and munition systems; to remove, disassemble and inspect parts that might be damaged; to perform armament systems maintenance functions; and to participate in the testing and evaluation of new and prototype weapons and weapons systems.
“We help in making the B-1 lethal and weaponized,” said Tech. Sgt. Cameron Wiley, 7th MUNS armament maintenance floor supervisor. “Without us, the bomber would simply look like a really cool aircraft.”
This year, the back shop deployed approximately 16 personnel and nearly 30 pieces of alternate mission equipment for a deployment to help the B-1 feed the fight and kill targets.
“The armament back shop has an important role for the B-1, and it can be a hard job,” said Maj. Clayton Sieler, 7th MUNS commander. “But I am always impressed with their dedication to their job and humility in which they do it.”