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By By Tech Sgt. Hailey Staker
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Public Affairs
Each month, the 3rd Munitions Squadron hosts Weapons and Ammo 4 Life, a MUNS-focused adaption of the Air Force maintainer “Airman for Life” concept.
Designed to promote resilience, a healthy work-life balance, and educate Airmen throughout the unit, the program’s foundation is built on three priorities: culture, people, and the mission.
“I’m happy to see our Airmen owning this program and developing the life skills necessary to be successful in life, both personally and professionally,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Ryan VanArtsdalen, the 3rd MUNS commander. “Our maintenance and munitions professions are naturally challenging and stressful, especially for our younger teammates who are finding their way in the Air Force and far away from home for the first time."
Each month the topics change and is a valuable resource for Airmen. However, the program not only provides resources and information, but also allows MUNS personnel the ability to network with others they may not engage with regularly.
One Airman reflected on their experience, saying “I’m enjoying it. Being from a smaller section, it’s nice getting out of it and meeting other members of the squadron.”
During the month of November, program participants engaged in academics focused on flight line operations, 3rd MUNS combat capability, and connecting to the overall mission.
“I like that it provides people an opportunity to interact across shops in a unit that is physically spread across the base,” said Capt. Matthew Reiland, the director of operations for the 3rd MUNS. “It also allows the flow of information and mindset in a relaxed and organic setting. When I talked about our mission strategy this month, it was in an environment where they could ask questions and give input and feedback.”
Morale, culture and fostering an inclusive and diverse environment is a common conversation piece across the Department of Defense, and through WAMMO 4 Life, the 3rd MUNS is getting after improvements within the unit.
This aligns with the strengthening four of the five columns that make up the Air Force’s initiative of the Spectrum of Resilience, which seeks to build one’s self; family and friends; peer and social connections; and support entities.
“One thing that comes to mind is that we've received positive feedback in regard to how the program has helped some Airmen get to know others within the squadron that they don’t often get to connect with,” said Tech. Sgt. Amanda Becker, a WAMMO 4 Life facilitator. “It’s a great example of how leadership has taken action to be more involved with the unit and to improve our culture and morale, which is why the program was implemented.”