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Armory team: Making sure Airmen stay Armed for the fight

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Cierra Presentado
  • 455th AEW Public Affairs
Upon arrival to Bagram Airfield, one of the first stops for Airmen is the 455th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron Armory. The armory team ensures all Airmen who did not deploy with a weapon are issued one shortly after arriving at BAF.

Scheduled to deploy as members of the Central Command Material Recovery Element team, Staff Sgt. Brenda Hawkins, 455th ELRS non-commissioned officer in charge of the Armory and Staff Sgt. Joshua Sharp, 455th ELRS armory, arrived to Bagram to find out they were selected to manage the Armory to satisfy mission requirements as part of CMRE.

“We came here expecting to do something different, and once I found out I would be managing the Armory I was excited,” Hall said. “It’s great knowing I help manage most of the weapons carried by the Airmen here.”

The team’s mission includes coordinating weapon’s inspections with combat arms training and maintenance functional checking for over 2,000 weapons and returning them to serviceability in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

When arriving to BAF, Airmen have 72 hours to report to the Armory to either notify them they already have a weapon or to get issued one.

“When in-processing, customers need to have their AF Form 522 which tells us what weapons the individuals qualified on and two copies of their orders which tells us what weapons they need to carry,” Hawkins said. “Once we have that, we have them fill out a receipt that shows the weapons serial number. Once everything is taken care of we issue the weapon and send them next door to pick up their ammunition.”

The process to return the weapon is similar. Airmen have 72 hours prior to their departure date to return the same weapon they were issued along with their ammunitions.

When signing for a weapon, Airmen should keep in mind that the weapon is their responsibility for the entire time they are deployed here. Members must keep accountability of their weapons at all times, and when not carrying it ensure it’s locked behind two secured areas. Airmen who fail to maintain positive control of their weapons are subject to legal punishment.

“Staff Sgts. Hawkins and Sharp are truly the best of the best. They have led monthly weapons inventories and inspections, and they have tracked assets worth $1.2 million ensuring the 455th Air
Expeditionary Wing is combat ready,” said Senior Master Sgt. Vinetta Paige, 455th ELRS material management flight chief.

The Armory team will remain in place to supply Airmen of the 455th AEW with weapons in support of Operation Freedoms Sentinel.