325th Maintenance Squadron armament; making fighter jets lethal

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Zachary Nordheim
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 325th Maintenance Squadron armament flight plays a vital role in supporting the 325th Fighter Wing’s mission. The armament flight at Tyndall Air Force Base is responsible for ensuring weapons systems are operationally ready by maintaining and inspecting all weapons equipment on the wing’s F-22 Raptors.

“We make sure that no matter what the aircraft needs, we have either replacements for it, [or] we revitalize the ones that came off of the aircraft as well,” said Staff Sgt. Dominic Hobbs, 325th Maintenance Squadron armament maintenance supervisor. “We make sure the aircraft has everything [needed to] become serviceable for the mission that they have on hand, regardless of what it is.”

Armament Airmen maintain various equipment which includes gun systems, pyrotechnic bomb release units and universal ammunition loading systems. All equipment overseen by the armament flight goes through routine maintenance, whether that is a scheduled check or if there is an issue with a function.

Team Tyndall faces a unique challenge is adapting to operations split between two locations due to Hurricane Michael. The 325th FW flying units are currently assigned to Eglin AFB, Florida.

“Being a split location between Eglin and Tyndall, we have quite a few extra things that we do,” said Master Sgt. Roman Manuel, 325th MXS flight chief. “We have to ship our gun systems and bomb racks back and forth from Eglin which is something [we] wouldn’t normally do.”

As difficult as it may be with geographically separate locations, the armament flight persists through it all and continue to perform wherever they are needed. Jobs normally done by weapons troops and supply personnel are now done by armament flight. As a backshop, they had to learn proper paperwork and proper contacts to order parts as well as assist in flight line maintenance.

“Regardless of the base we are at and the mission that base supports, we make sure that the aircraft gets all the equipment it needs from armament,” said Hobbs.

These Airmen ensure to keep not only their mission, but Tyndall’s mission possible at all times, no matter the struggles they may face.

“I know how important my job is,” said Manuel. “I signed up for this. I’m going to go to work every day and do my job to the best of my ability. The end product is what really matters; we’re protecting people’s families, protecting the country.”