Troops get hands-on experience loading ammunition at Kunsan
The goal is to swap old ammo for new. But in the process, airmen at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea also are to learn how to unload bombs, missiles and other munitions that arrive by train and truck.
The Kunsan-based servicemembers, with airmen at other Pacific bases, will get the training while taking part in an annual reorganizing of munitions stocks known as TurboCADS, or Turbo Containerized Ammunition Distribution System 04. Other Pacific Air Forces installations involved this year include Osan Air Base in South Korea, Kadena Air Base on Okinawa and Andersen Air Force Base on Guam.
The training will involve loading and unloading cargo from a military ship on Kimhae ammunition pier.
“The purpose is to realign the munitions on the peninsula, taking the older assets that are no longer required off the ‘pen,’ and bringing newer munitions onto the ‘pen,’” said Tech. Sgt. Chris Blackburn of Kunsan’s 8th Maintenance Squadron.
U.S. Air Force units at various points on the Korean peninsula, including Osan Air Base, will transport quantities of their older munitions to the pier by train or truck. The new munitions also will be put aboard trains and trucks for delivery to the bases.
The entire munitions transfer process in South Korea will run into late July and early August, said Blackburn.
For Kunsan, the process began Wednesday. Blackburn said new munitions for Kunsan are to include more than 1,500 2,000-pound penetrator bombs called BLU-109s; more than 4,000 500-pound general purpose bombs called MK-82s and more than 100 CBU munitions, also known as cluster bombs units.
But also coming in are some of the newest precision-guided munitions, including those known as JDAM, or Joint Direct Attack Munition; JSOW, or AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon; and JASSM, or AGM-158 Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile, said Staff Sgt. Kevin McCaslin, noncommissioned officer in charge of munitions storage plans in the 8th Maintenance Squadron.
Blackburn and McCaslin said TurboCADS will give airmen valuable training.
Most of the airmen will be tapped for such work at least once more in their careers, McCaslin said. “This gives them a basis so when they go to their next operation where they need to pack up or download, they’ll have that knowledge.”
Blackburn said: “The biggest training benefit is the fact that if an actual war would break out on the peninsula, this is the way we would receive the majority of our inbound munitions. So it gives them a hands-on.”