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AMMO utilizes new system for 100% munition inventory count

AMMO utilizes new system for 100% munition inventory count

Senior Airman Marcus Wallace, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron line delivery technician (left), and Airman 1st Class Preston Melkerson, 56th EMS stockpile management technician, take inventory on small arms ammunition during the semi-annual 100% munitions count Sept. 12, 2020, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. During the counting process, everything in the stockpile is inventoried including missiles, bomb components, explosive cartridges and more. The 56th EMS Munitions Flight performs an inventory count which maintains accountability for more than 3,470 munition components worth an estimated $72 million. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

AMMO utilizes new system for 100% munition inventory count

Airman 1st Class Preston Melkerson, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron stockpile management technician, moves a box of small arms ammunition during inventory Sept. 12, 2020, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. Airmen from the 56th EMS provide safe and reliable aircraft, equipment and munitions which are used to train the world’s greatest fighter pilots and combat ready Airmen. The 56th EMS Munitions Flight performs a semi-annual 100% munitions count which maintains accountability of more than 3,470 munition components worth an estimated $72 million. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

AMMO utilizes new system for 100% munition inventory count

Airman 1st Class Maxim Gogo, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron conventional maintenance technician (left), and Staff Sgt. Kelvin Lafferty 56th EMS conventional maintenance crew chief, take inventory on aircraft countermeasure munitions Sept. 12, 2020, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The Theater Integrated Combat Munitions System (TICMS) is a new software, implemented by the 56th EMS, used to maintain accountability of munitions by making the counting process digital versus the traditional paper system. The 56th EMS Munitions Flight performs a semi-annual 100% munitions count that maintains accountability of more than 3,470 munition components, worth an estimated $72 million. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

AMMO utilizes new system for 100% munition inventory count

Senior Airman Michael Castellanos, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron conventional maintenance technician, counts the number of aircraft countermeasure munitions Sept. 12, 2020, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. During the counting process, everything in the stockpile is inventoried including missiles, bomb components, explosive cartridges and more. The 56th EMS Munitions Flight performs a semi-annual 100% munitions count which maintains accountability for more than 3,470 munition components worth an estimated $72 million. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

AMMO utilizes new system for 100% munition inventory count

Airmen from the 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron count aircraft countermeasure munitions during the semi-annual 100% munitions count Sept. 12, 2020, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The Theater Integrated Combat Munitions System (TICMS) is a new software used to maintain accountability of munitions by making the counting process, formerly a paper system, digital. The 56th EMS Munitions Flight performs munition counts to maintain accountability for more than 3,470 munition components worth an estimated $72 million. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

AMMO utilizes new system for 100% munition inventory count

Airman Philip Britten, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron conventional maintenance technician (left), and Airman 1st Class Wyatt Belden, 56th EMS stockpile management technician, take inventory on GPS-guided bomb components Sept. 12, 2020, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The traditional method used to perform inventory involved teams using count sheets and hand-counting the number of assets in boxes stored in each facility. The Theater Integrated Combat Munitions System (TICMS) is a new software that allows the number of items to be calculated digitally. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

AMMO utilizes new system for 100% munition inventory count

Senior Airman Gunnar Carlson, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron stockpile management technician, scans the barcodes on corner markers using a Getac, a handheld device used to input number values, Sept. 17, 2020, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The 56th EMS Munitions Flight is projected to use the scanning method on the Getac during the semi-annual munitions inventory to eliminate the need for count sheets. A 100% munitions count is performed to maintain accountability for more than 3,470 munition components worth an estimated $72 million. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

AMMO utilizes new system for 100% munition inventory count

Tech. Sgt. Ryan Read, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron account supervisor, validates the munitions inventory count on the Theater Integrated Combat Munitions System (TICMS), Sept. 12, 2020, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. TICMS is an Air Force-wide program released in January 2020 that saves manpower and time by allowing individuals to enter the amount of items digitally using Getac, a handheld device used to input number values, avoiding the need for count sheets. The 56th EMS Munitions Flight performs a semi-annual 100% munitions count which maintains accountability for more than 3,470 munition components worth an estimated $72 million. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. --

The 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Munitions Flight is utilizing the new Theater Integrated Combat Munitions System (TICMS) to perform 100% munitions inventory count which validates for more than 3,470 munition components worth an estimated $72 million.

The new system, TICMS - an Air Force-wide program released in January 2020 - saves manpower and time by allowing individuals to use a Getac. This handheld device is used to input number values, and insert the number of assets digitally, avoiding the hand-counting process. If the Getac finds a discrepancy in the number of assets then a digital recount is automatically generated.

During the semi-annual inventory count, everything in the stockpile is accounted for except outside agency custody account assets, including security forces and explosive ordnance disposal items. The stockpile includes ammunition, missiles, bomb components, explosive cartridges, small arm grenades and more.  

The Combat Ammunition System, the former method used to perform inventory, involves teams using count sheets and hand-counting the number of assets in boxes stored in each facility. The semi-annual inventory is takes approximately one week to complete, starting on Monday and ending Saturday.

“You’ll have a counter and a verifier, so there’s always two people,” said Tech. Sgt. Jesus Garcia, 56th EMS noncommissioned officer in charge of munitions operations. “Each person signs their name on it saying they’ve counted and verified it. Then they give the count sheet to the reconciler and they enter number into the software to see if it’s correct or not. If it’s incorrect, another team will have to do a recount through the same process. Accuracy is paramount.”

According to Tech. Sgt. Tatiana Greer, 56th EMS custody accounts supervisor, using the new method, teams were reduced from 160 personnel to 45, saving manpower and allowing less Airmen to work on a non-duty day. The process is projected to reduce the need for recounts due to human error by 66%.  

 “They'll input the numbers on the screen then hit enter and when it's complete they will digitally sign,” said Greer. “That gets processed through TICMS and eliminates the need for reconcilers. All our reconcilers and munitions operations Airmen have to do is clear the structure on their screen until everything is processed and verified. Everything will be digital.”

In the future, the 56th EMS expects the process to be more effective with the Getac’s scanning method.

“Eventually, the endpoint will be to scan,” said Greer. “Every time we do an asset movement, there will be a barcode on each placard that sits on top of each box that will be scanned and it will give the amount of assets in each box. That will save even more time and resources.”

Ammo inventories 34 facilities and it takes coordination from all the Aircraft Maintenance Units to bring their munitions to the Munitions Storage Area (MSA) to be accounted for.

With every new software comes new challenges that have to be overcome. Garcia attests to the hard work of his team for keeping every item accounted for and the coordination needed to complete this task. TICMS is the way of the future for the 100% munition inventory count.

“The new system is far more in-depth and innovative than our old system was,” said Greer. “We can do a lot more with this system. TICMS is much more industrialized.”