Staff Sgt. Keith Carpenter, 2nd Munitions Squadron cruise missile flight instructor, installs a cover on the back side of an Air to Ground Missile-86C engine inlet on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., July 2. This is routinely done to prevent degradation of the operational capability of the engine during start-up and launch. It also safeguards against foreign object damage. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Sean Martin)(Released)
Staff Sgt. Keith Carpenter, 2nd Munitions Squadron cruise missile flight instructor, performs a turbo fan engine visual inspection on an Air to Ground Missile-86C on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., July 2. This inspection is accomplished prior to installation into the missile to check for defects that would degrade performance in the event of an operational launch. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Sean Martin)(Released)
by Senior Airman Sean Martin
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
7/13/2012 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- The 2nd Munitions Squadron plays a key role in the overall mission success of the Air Force Global Strike Command and its ability to conduct long range bomber operations.
The mission of 2 MUNS is to provide complete maintenance support, missile fueling operations, end-to-end electrical certification and integration of the conventional air-launched cruise missile with the B-52H Stratofortress to support the U.S. Strategic Command, Combatant Command and 2nd Bomb Wing tasking.
"The CALCM contains a 3,000 lb class blast fragmentation warhead, located within the missile's body, which is capable of delivering the weapon to targets in excess of 600 nautical miles away," said Senior Master Sgt. Jason Price, 2 MUNS cruise missile flight chief. "It is precisely this capability of range and lethality that makes it invaluable to the combatant commanders and the survivability of the B-52."
The cruise missile flight provides more than 100 war-ready CALCMs to the mission.
"We provide the lone conventional long-range strike capability for the command," Price said. "Each B-52 is capable of carrying more than 10 CALCMs."
Whether down range or at home, 2 MUNS plays a role in the success of the B-52. They are responsible for supporting the continuous bomber presence and providing first strike capability.
"When in Guam, we provide similar support as we do to our home station, but with a smaller logistical foot print," said Price. "We provide rotary launcher and missile support to 36th MUNS personnel in order to facilitate the upload and certification of weapons on aircraft in the event of a strike order."
The long-range capability and benefit of the CALCM was demonstrated in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Desert Strike and Operation Iraqi Freedom. It proved survivability of the B-52 by preventing the aircraft and its aircrew from exposure to enemy airspace, added Price.
"We are more of a deterrent than an active shooter," said Staff Sgt. Keith Carpenter, 2 MUNS cruise missile flight chief. "We use our capabilities to show our enemies that if threatened, we can and will be able to keep them at bay. It helps to put our allies and American citizens' minds at ease knowing that we have such capabilities."
Price added that the cruise missile flight is very unique in that it is comprised of five different career fields containing only one air force specialty code, 2M0X1, who are responsible for the Air Force's preeminent conventional stand-off weapon, the CALCM. This is unique because at other bases, each career field is run by its own people.
"We are like a mini maintenance group in the building," said Carpenter. "This is one of the most technical jobs out there because we are skilled to work in many different areas; we are not centralized to a specific part of this weapon system. Everything, including electrical, fueling, engine work and sheet metal falls on our shoulders."