DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. – A team of ammunition specialists from the Joint Munitions Command traveled to Dover Air Force Base to tour ammunition facilities and meet with enterprise counterparts at the 436th Aerial Port Squadron. The coordination between the Dover AFB and JMC is vital to the success of delivering the critical munition requirements throughout the Presidential Drawdown operations.
Over the last 21 years, Dover AFB has been a major transportation hub for operations in Central Command during the Global War on Terrorism. Recently though, Dover AFB has taken on a major role in part in supporting PD missions to the European Command in support of efforts in Ukraine. JMC coordinated Special Assignment Airlift Missions (SAAM) to support the largest and quickest delivered PD, by airlifting 100,000 rounds of munitions and ancillary items in 15 days. The normal planning timeframe for a SAAM is 30-40 days from requirement until SAAM departure.
Historically, JMC completes 80-100 SAAMs per year. So far in 2022, JMC has executed 157 SAAMs in support of PDs. During one PD, JMC executed more than 100 SAAMs in 15 days, from the receipt of requirement until the final SAAM departure, this volume and velocity was unprecedented and took a significant amount of coordination between JMC, Air Mobility Command airfields, and commercial trucking companies that delivered the munitions to the airfields.
JMC depots shipped more than 450 truckloads from seven locations to four airfields with deliveries in 12 days. Dover AFB was one airfield that supported the requirement. This undertaking was an historic movement of munitions to the aerial ports and would not have been possible without the teamwork and coordination between JMC and the aerial ports.
During the Dover visit, JMC’s ammunition specialists received a tour of the 436th Aerial Port Squadron’s ammunition and general cargo facilities, providing a "boots-on-ground" perspective of the operations. They also met with Col. Barry Flack, commander, 436th Maintenance Group, and his staff to discuss lessons learned from this outload of munitions. These discussions identified best practices, improvements, and reaffirmed processes that were effective and efficient during ammunition movements.
Throughout these discussions, Dover AFB personnel highlighted their adaptability to the sudden influx of ammunition deliveries by augmenting personnel, implementing 24-hour operations, and expanding explosive storage areas through the use of alternate storage areas. Additionally, through close coordination with JMC, Dover AFB managed to maximize throughput of truck deliveries and aircraft departures to stay within explosive safety limits at the airfield. Constant communication between JMC and Dover was vital to the success of the operation. Furthermore, the support and flexibility of the commercial partners in the trucking and air cargo industry enabled the on-time delivery of thousands of rounds of artillery.