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AFLCMC Armament Sustainment: ‘Maintaining everything that goes boom’

  • Published
  • By Kisha Foster Johnson
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs Office

From air-to-air or air-to-ground munitions, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Division’s Armament Sustainment section at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, designs, develops, produces and sustains those items to equip the warfighter.

As a part of the Armament Directorate, we are basically in charge of all the weapons, which include hyper sonics, missiles, guns, ammunition, and maintaining everything that goes boom in war,” said Seth Craig, AFLCMC Armament Sustainment Division technical advisor. “As the Air Force acquires new gun systems and missile systems, eventually those systems turn from acquisitions to sustainment. The guns and weapon systems need to maintain lethal capabilities throughout their lifetime, and we need to make sure they are ready for fights.”

Craig and his team work on gun systems for almost every aircraft in the Air Force. So, if and when there is a weapon malfunction, they are the ones to fix it.

The Armament Directorate’s goal is to enhance Air Force combat capability and effectiveness across the globe through joint development, test, procurement, deployment, and product sustainment support for air delivered weapon systems.
The high-priority, multi-billion-dollar systems managed include; Joint Direct Attack Munition, Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile, JASSM-Extended Range, Small Diameter Bomb I, Small Diameter Bomb II, Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile, Miniature Air Launch Decoy-Jammer, Massive Ordnance Penetrator, and the QF-16 Full Scale Aerial Target.

“It’s a fun and exciting job,” said Will Hooper, AFLCMC Armament Sustainment Division engineer. “When people ask what I do, I tell them I sometimes work on the guns that go on the F-16 and they can picture that in their head. It’s nice to be hands on because a lot of the times we’re looking at drawings on computer screens.”

Armament Sustainment also creates replacement parts with 3D printing technology, which uses plastic or metal materials.

“We are at the forefront of technology when it comes to 3D printing,” said Craig. “We are developing technical data packages for 3D printers that are relevant for gun parts, instead of relying on traditional methods of creating parts from a cast.

“When a warfighter goes to get a part, they will not know how it was created. The most important thing is that the part works. We are the ones pushing that innovation forward, executing it and making it the standard.”