News: Small bark, big bite – defending the base: Bullet Issue
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan - From the time airmen arrive at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, until the day they leave, the office of munitions professionals within the Bullet Issue Element make sure every airman here is armed and poised to carry out their role in base defense.
The Bullet Issue Element is responsible for supplying ammunition to Air Force personnel deployed to Bagram and non-Security Forces airmen who are going to a forward operating base.
Staff Sgt. Joshua Kuhnel, 455 Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron Bullet Issue non-commissioned officer in charge, said his office maintains 100 percent accountability of all rounds issued.
"We manage somewhere around 30 to 40 thousand dollars worth of bullets," said Kuhnel. "When we issue rounds, we have to keep track of who gets it, how long they are going to be here and when we are supposed to get them back."
To do this, Kuhnel works with his team to pick up ammunition from their storage facility, brief customers, issue hand receipts for distribution of ammunition, and enter the transactions into their database.
Master Sgt. Jeff Mikaio, 455th EMXS munitions accountable systems officer, echoed the need to keep track of all Air Force ammunition on Bagram.
"The Air Force does 100 percent accountability to ensure ammo is going to the correct areas," he said. "We make sure no ammo is missing, possibly falling into enemy hands."
Their accurate control of ammunition allows Bullet Issue to safely arm every airman so all their customers can be a force multiplier.
"It has been command directed that we issue ammunition to everyone on base as a show of force," said Kuhnel. "That is so any outside threat can see that everyone on base is armed. So, if any outside threat tries anything out of the ordinary at any point in time, we are ready to defend. Whether it is LRS, ammo, or public affairs ... everyone is ready to defend."
Integral to this base-wide show of force, Airman 1st Class Scott Brown, 455th EMXS Bullet Issue crew member, does a lot of the hands-on duties associated with their mission.
"While the sergeant is tracking customers, verifying transactions and accounting for rounds, I am counting and issuing rounds to the customers," said Brown.
Putting these two accounting and ammunition experts together was no accident. Both are ammo troops from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., and have experience doing support work and munitions handling.
"We have to find the most meticulous, the most thorough folks that we can find," said Mikaio. "This is not any small matter. You have to know what you are doing here. You have to know what is going on. We actually hand pick these folks.
"It may seem like a small job because they are in a small conex, issuing little rounds," he said. "But, they have a very important job. That is to make sure everyone is armed up and able to defend the base. And they do it well."
Brown is in his second year of military service and was entrusted with this responsibility by his unit supervision. Although he didn't deploy knowing that this would be his mission, he embraced it and fully dedicated himself to the task.
"It's nice to know that we are a major part of base defense," said Brown. "We are actually making a difference."
Date Posted:03.09.2012 02:39
Location:BAGRAM AIR FIELD, AF
- CJCS leads USO visit to Bagram
- Leaders pay visit to Bagram during Thanksgiving
- From crew chiefs to PJ’s – team effort saves lives
- Deployed chaplain officiates wedding via Skype