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Moody trail-blazes DOD munitions airlift initiative

A photo of Airmen preparing to load a munitions trailer onto an aircraft

Airmen assigned to the 23d Wing and Air Mobility Command prepare to load an MHU-141/M munitions trailer onto a C-17 Globemaster III Feb. 26, 2021, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Airmen with the 23d Maintenance Squadron pioneered a process to obtain a certification allowing personnel to airlift fully built bombs on a munitions trailer. The Airmen put the process to the test during Mosaic Tiger 21-1 and collected feedback for a certification letter that will now be used throughout the Department of Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Crampton)

A photo of Airmen loading a munitions trailer onto an aircraft

Airmen with the 436th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, and the 23d Wing load an MHU-141/M munitions trailer onto a C-17 Globemaster III Feb. 26, 2021, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Airmen with the 23d Maintenance Squadron pioneered a process to obtain a certification allowing personnel to airlift fully built bombs on a munitions trailer. The Airmen put the process to the test during Mosaic Tiger 21-1 and collected feedback for a certification letter that will now be used throughout the Department of Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Crampton)

A photo of an Airman securing a munitions trailer onto an aircraft

An Airman assigned to the 436th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, secures an MHU-141/M munitions trailer before takeoff Feb. 26, 2021, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Airmen with the 23d Maintenance Squadron pioneered a process to obtain a certification allowing personnel to airlift fully built bombs on a munitions trailer. The Airmen put the process to the test during Mosaic Tiger 21-1 and collected feedback for a certification letter that will now be used throughout the Department of Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Crampton)

A photo of a munitions trailer on an aircraft

Airmen with the 436th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, and the 23d Wing make final pre-flight checks after securing an MHU-141/M munitions trailer Feb. 26, 2021, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Airmen with the 23d Maintenance Squadron pioneered a process to obtain a certification allowing personnel to airlift fully built bombs on a munitions trailer. The Airmen put the process to the test during Mosaic Tiger 21-1 and collected feedback for a certification letter that will now be used throughout the Department of Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Crampton)

A photo of Airmen unloading a munitions trailer

Airmen assigned to the 23d Wing unload an MHU-141/M munitions trailer Feb. 25, 2021, at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida. Airmen with the 23d Maintenance Squadron pioneered a process to obtain a certification allowing personnel to airlift fully built bombs on a munitions trailer. The Airmen put the process to the test during Mosaic Tiger 21-1 and collected feedback for a certification letter that will now be used throughout the Department of Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hayden Legg)

A photo of an Airman removing a strap from a practice bomb

Staff Sgt. Brian Dorsey, 23d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew chief, removes a strap from a BDU-50 practice bomb Feb. 25, 2021, at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida. Airmen with the 23d Maintenance Squadron pioneered a process to obtain a certification allowing personnel to airlift fully built bombs on a munitions trailer. The Airmen put the process to the test during Mosaic Tiger 21-1 and collected feedback for a certification letter that will now be used throughout the Department of Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hayden Legg)

A photo of an Airman evaluating contents of a munitions trailer

Staff Sgt. Brian Dorsey, 23d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew chief, evaluates the contents of an MHU-141/M munitions trailer Feb. 25, 2021, at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida. Airmen with the 23d Maintenance Squadron pioneered a process to obtain a certification allowing personnel to airlift fully built bombs on a munitions trailer. The Airmen put the process to the test during Mosaic Tiger 21-1 and collected feedback for a certification letter that will now be used throughout the Department of Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hayden Legg)

A photo of an Airman strapping a bomb to a weapons loader

Staff Sgt. Brian Dorsey, 23d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew chief, straps a BDU-50 practice to a weapons loader during an integrated combat turn Feb. 25, 2021, at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida. Airmen with the 23d Maintenance Squadron pioneered a process to obtain a certification allowing personnel to airlift fully built bombs on a munitions trailer. The Airmen put the process to the test during Mosaic Tiger 21-1 and collected feedback for a certification letter that will now be used throughout the Department of Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hayden Legg)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

It takes several moving people and pieces to successfully and safely load and airlift munitions, but thanks to an innovative approach, the 23d Wing pioneered an effective and more efficient munitions airlift initiative for the Department of Defense.

Just in time for Mosaic Tiger 21-1, Airmen with the 23d Maintenance Squadron munitions flight took it upon themselves to obtain a certification allowing personnel to airlift fully built bombs on an MHU-141/M munitions trailer, making Moody the first base in any Air Force command to complete and certify this process for agile combat employment.

“Having the bombs ‘ready for employment’ and loaded on the trailer allows teams to maneuver the bombs to outstations, significantly reducing the footprint and simultaneously enhancing agility,” said Chief Master Sgt. Kurt Tom, 23d Maintenance Squadron ammo superintendent. “It’s pretty awesome to be a part of the team that’s blazing trails affecting Air Force Diversity in lethality.”

The MHU-141 is the smallest of the three typical munitions trailers used for ground transport of munitions to the flightline for aircraft loading. Air Force guidance precludes the packaging of munitions without meeting the hazardous material preparation for shipment, but with an Air Transportability Test Loading Activity certification, DOD assets can quickly and efficiently load fully built munitions for air transport on the MHU trailer.

“I started working the approval process for certification with ATTLA in November, 2020, to plan to ensure each bomb was secure for airlift and met all mobility aircraft restrictions for [certain cargo] aircraft,” said Master Sgt. Andrew Holsenback, 23d Wing agile combat employment readiness manager.  “With the help of munitions personnel, rescue loadmasters, Air Force Material Command, and ATTLA, we certified a plan to accomplish this task.  ATTLA then reviewed my proposal and issued an evaluation letter authorizing Moody to test the procedures during our exercise—now that the exercise showcased we can do this safely, ATTLA will republish this letter as a certification for all DOD assets.”

The newly approved process was put to the test during Mosaic Tiger 21-1, when Multi-capable Airmen teams airlifted six fully built BDU-50 practice bombs to contingency location Patrick Space Force Base—achieving mission success.

“This was the first time we have transported munitions to an outstation via air transport,” said Holsenback. “Moody AFB personnel were able to rapidly infiltrate contingency locations and establish integrated combat turn sites with minimal personnel and within 30 minutes of arrival.

Previous to this certification, MCA teams would have to build each bomb at the contingency locations, requiring additional personnel to assemble the bombs and quite a few hours of time in a possible hostile environment.

“Normally when you load an aircraft, the munitions are broken down into several pieces,” said Master Sgt. Anthony Bagent, 23d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons loading element NCO in charge. “This certification approves us to consolidate those pieces down to one trailer, reducing the Air Force’s operational footprint and enhancing agility.”

The approved ATTLA certification process that Moody successfully executed during Mosaic Tiger standardizes the load throughout the DOD, and allows all bases to accept and all airframes to transport munitions without restrictions.