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31 MUNS cuts ribbon on new munitions storage area

U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and contracting personnel, along with 31st Fighter Wing leadership, stand before three new earth-covered munitions storage modules on Area F at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 31, 2021. Planning for the modules began in 2014, with construction starting March 2020 and finishing one year later. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. K. Tucker Owen)

U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and contracting personnel, along with 31st Fighter Wing leadership, stand before three new earth-covered munitions storage modules on Area F at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 31, 2021. Planning for the modules began in 2014, with construction starting March 2020 and finishing one year later. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. K. Tucker Owen)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Jason Bailey, 31st Fighter Wing commander, speaks to guests at a ribbon cutting ceremony for new munitions storage modules on Area F at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 31, 2021. The three modules will allow 31st Munitions Squadron Airmen to pre-position munitions on the flightline, allowing faster delivery without the requirement of shutting down the highway between Areas F and G. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. K. Tucker Owen)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Jason Bailey, 31st Fighter Wing commander, speaks to guests at a ribbon cutting ceremony for new munitions storage modules on Area F at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 31, 2021. The three modules will allow 31st Munitions Squadron Airmen to pre-position munitions on the flightline, allowing faster delivery without the requirement of shutting down the highway between Areas F and G. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. K. Tucker Owen)

Senior Master Sgt. Roy Foster, 31st Munitions Squadron systems flight chief, center, speaks to guests at a ribbon cutting ceremony at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 31, 2021. The ceremony marked the unveiling of three new earth-covered munitions storage modules on Area F. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. K. Tucker Owen)

Senior Master Sgt. Roy Foster, 31st Munitions Squadron systems flight chief, center, speaks to guests at a ribbon cutting ceremony at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 31, 2021. The ceremony marked the unveiling of three new earth-covered munitions storage modules on Area F. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. K. Tucker Owen)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy --

The 31st Munitions Squadron hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil their new earth-covered munitions storage modules on Area F at Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 31, 2021.

The three modules will allow Airmen from the 31st MUNS to pre-position munitions on the flightline, allowing faster delivery without the requirement of shutting down the highway between Areas F and G to safely cross.

Having the munitions prepared and stored on Area F drastically reduces the time it would take to respond in case of an emergency, said Senior Master Sgt. Roy Foster, 31st MUNS systems flight chief.

“If the flag goes up, we’ll be able to deliver right away as opposed to generating over at Area G, waiting to cross over, and then delivering to the aircraft, which could take several hours – even a day,” said Foster.

The project began planning in 2014, headed by the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC), with ground clearing in 2019 and actual construction beginning March 2020.

"The opportunity to be embedded with the Air Force has been special,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Nicholas Sweet, NAVFAC construction office construction manager. “It’s been a master class in professionalism in my two and a half years here.”

Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 over the past year, its effects on the project were very mild, said Sweet. Aside from the occasional minor hiccup, the team was able to overcome those issues and keep the project on track.

“To see a state-of-the-art storage facility like this come to fruition is a once in a career opportunity,” said Foster. “I’ve been in [the Air Force] for 21 years and I’ve never seen anything to this standard.”