3rd Munitions squadron honored at Air Force level

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The 3rd Munitions Squadron, assigned to the 3rd Wing, earned the prestigious Maintenance Effectiveness Award for the Pacific Air Forces and recently triumphed at the Headquarters Air Force level.

The MEA recognizes outstanding performance in supporting the mission of the major command and the combatant command and the 3rd MUNS is now competing at the Department of Defense level.

The 3rd MUNS achieved success in munitions and missile maintenance from Oct. 1, 2022 to Sept. 30, 2023. Their performance contributed to air dominance, with their work noted in 22 operations and exercises. By generating 12,000 sorties and deploying around the world, they have solidified their role as a cornerstone of national security.

“This award acknowledges our unit as the top-performing munitions maintenance unit in the Air Force,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Ryan VanArtsdalen, 3rd MUNS commander. “Throughout the past year, we've armed an unprecedented five combatant commanders globally, including safeguarding the homeland with historic success.”

In a monumental effort, the squadron transported 3,000,000 munitions assets, doubling their stockpile arsenal to a value exceeding $390 million. This achievement elevated them to the top spot as the Air Force's premier air-to-air superiority unit.

Additionally, they played a pivotal role in supplying vital munitions to Ukraine, while executing the largest aerial movement of missiles since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989.

Their contribution extended to safeguarding the Indo-Pacific region by protecting $5 trillion of global trade in the South China Sea during an F-22 deployment.

Amongst other accomplishments, they responded swiftly to a Presidential order, eliminating two unidentified aerial threats within 24 hours, marking a historic victory for the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

In addition, the squadron's leadership spearheaded the design of a $350 million multi-capable weapons generation complex, crucial for national security in the face of the Great Power Competition.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of our Airmen and NCOs. The hunger these young professionals have to improve this Air Force is unparalleled,” said U.S. Air Force Chief MSgt. Casey Helderman, 3rd MUNS senior enlisted leader. “They want to be challenged, they want to be tested, and for 3rd MUNS, they have crushed those challenges.”

They also revolutionized Agile Combat Employment munitions logistics through innovative exercises and real-world applications in European and Pacific theaters, Helderman added.

“We are inspired everyday by our team…their drive, their comradery, their passion for our mission and culture, it’s the cornerstone this squadron’s successes are built on, and this team is ready for more…it’s amazing to see,” he said.