366th MUNS receives new doors for 1950’s ECMs, saves 4 million.
By Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno, 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 26, 2019
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- It’s no secret - the Gunfighters are known for being at the forefront of innovation. Since the base’s construction in the early 1940’s, a legacy was built with the bare-hands of aviation pioneers who came up with solutions to adapt and overcome any obstacle that came their way.
The 366th Munitions Squadron is upholding that legacy by implementing a fix that is cost-effective to the taxpayer while maintaining efficiency as a lethal fighting force.
The 366th MUNS storage area is undergoing construction on seven Earth Covered Magazines (ECM) also known as “igloos,” April - May 2019.
For almost ten years, four out of the seven igloos were condemned and unusable due to safety hazards from deterioration of the doors.
“It takes us an extra five to ten minutes just to actually gain access to the buildings,” said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Danielson, 366th MUNS munitions storage production supervisor. “Those doors are coming off to be replaced with new doors.”
The total cost of the project is $458,000 for all seven ECM doors to be replaced, contrary to the $4.76 million that it would cost to level out and reconstruct each ECM.
“We started this project when we were the 366th Equipment Maintenance Squadron,” Danielson said. “ We’re gaining valuable floor space, 7,566 square feet, to allow us to store more munitions, and it’s allowing us to prevent three more igloos from being condemned due to their age and the overall structure of their current doors.”
Obtaining the extra storage will enable the 366ths MUNS to work in a more efficient manner with their own squadron, as well as units who are here for a temporary duty.
“We’ve had 22 units pass through here from 2018 to 2019. We expect that these future visits will keep up the same pace and increase in the future,” said Master Sgt. Nathaniel Wassing, 366th MUNS munitions storage NCO in charge. “When these units come here TDY, their main focus is to expend munitions for pilot training.”
By fixing the doors on the ECMs, the project will allow Air Force units from across the world who visit Mountain Home to store their munitions inside of a controlled environment, rather than use outdoor storage.
“These structures coming online will allow us to prevent re-warehousing our current buildings to support munitions from units who come here to train,” Wassing said. “It will also allow us to reallocate those man hours effectively.”
Originally established in 1956, the ECMs have housed several types of munitions that have been carried by aircraft of the past and present. The 366th MUNS ammo troops want to continue their use due to their efficiency.
“As far as the structure of the igloos, they haven’t changed for 60+ years,” Danielson said. “The structure is perfectly sound and still useable. These doors are going to last for many years to come. For us to have access to that floorspace to store munitions again is a great day in the life of ammo.”