557th ERHS completes 300 acre munitions storage area expansion

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jacob B. Wrightsman
  • 378th Air Expeditionary Wing

Airmen from the 557th Expeditionary Red Horse Squadron formally celebrated a munitions storage area expansion during a ribbon cutting ceremony here, March 16, 2022.

The 300 acre project broke ground in September of 2021 and was executed by a team of 45 total force Airmen, according to Capt. Ericka Bitz, 557th ERHS officer-in-charge.

“Eight expeditionary ammunition storage pads were constructed to facilitate an increase in net explosive weight of 3.3 million pounds,” Bitz said. “Each of the eight 17,000 square foot pads is constructed of eight inches of base course surrounded by 1,100 feet of stacked hescos. Each pad has its own lighting protection system that is made up of four metallic masts, overhead copper catenary wires and an underground copper ground ring. The eight pads are connected by a 2.5 mile long base course road.”

The expansion of the munitions storage area greatly increases the lethality of the U.S. Air Forces in the region by progressing the fortification of the base’s facilities and allowing more weapons to be safely stored at PSAB.

“This is very important not just for PSAB but for the U.S. Air Force’s Central area-of-responsibility,” said Brig. Gen. Robert Davis, 378th Air Expeditionary Wing commander. “All of the munitions that are going to be stored here are going to have a large impact on air power around the region.”

The project was completed by a team of Airmen consisting of 13 different units and seven different Air Force Specialty Codes with supporting elements coming from engineers of the 378th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron.

By including Airmen from different career fields and backgrounds the team was fortunate to have a wide breadth of knowledge and opportunities for training.

“Every single one of the AFSC’s was a primary component of this project, at certain points you wouldn’t have known who was doing what.” Bitz said. “If someone wasn’t as skilled in one area, they were taken under a wing and got time to be trained. So these guys got training that they’ll never be able to experience again and I know they’re leaving as better operators and better people.”

By working long hours in the desert sands of PSAB, the Airmen of the 557th ERHS continue to advance the capabilities of the base which send shockwaves throughout the region.

“Through the sand, the dust, the cold and the heat, they were out here every single morning and even through the night,” Bitz said. “They never complained, they worked hard and I’m just proud to have worked with them.”