helps put bombs on target
10/7/2003 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, GUNTER
ANNEX, Ala. (AFPN) -- Since March 19, warfighters have dropped
21,300 munitions in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Tens of thousands more have been
dropped or launched during Operation Enduring Freedom and that many more stand
ready if and when the call comes.
To account for all the munitions the Air Force owns, ammunition troops rely on
software Standard Systems Group experts here developed.
The Combat Ammunition System allows airmen to make sure the right munitions are
in the right place at the right time, according to Frank Ruff, CAS program manager.
CAS tracks shipments and provides planning data for warfighting scenarios while
assuring that replacement munitions, whether for the security forces guarding
the airplanes or the bombs being loaded on them, are ordered and delivered before
they are needed.
"The system determines appropriate storage locations, assures incompatible munitions
aren't stored together, and tracks net explosive weights to keep storage areas
safe," Ruff said. "CAS also gives war planners the ability to play what-if exercises
based on locations and availability of aircraft and munitions."
CAS not only benefits planners, but also the airmen strapping the bombs on their
"The program is a good accountability tool, helping us keep track of requisitions,
shipping and turn-ins," said Staff Sgt. Todd Davis, from the 2nd Munitions Squadron
at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. "Using CAS makes our job easier and frees up
time to do other jobs."
An upcoming improvement to the CAS program will soon make the users' jobs even
easier, Ruff said. The upgrade moves the program onto the Web and will give worldwide
visibility into the location and status of all munitions.
"Anyone with permission to view the data will be able to see where munitions
are located," Ruff said. "The upgrade is also going to give the users -- the
guys in the ammo dumps -- the capability to do almost all their tracking with
hand-held work stations. These workstations will scan bar codes, track work orders
and relay movements to eliminate dependence on paper products to direct and document
The first phase of the upgrade was completed Sept. 30, and all bases should be
loaded by January, he said. Future upgrades, released as technology and capabilities
mature, will ensure the CAS program is a fully compliant, one-stop, munitions
accountability and planning program, officials said. (Courtesy of Air Force Materiel
Command News Service)