Airman ensures critical communication

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Daniel Brosam
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
Less than 500 feet from the weapons storage area, a location where reentry systems and reentry vehicles for intercontinental ballistic missiles are stored, Airmen are posted to ensure constant communication between security forces and maintenance is flawlessly executed.

One Airman in particular, Senior Airman Jasmine Helm-Lucas, 341st Munitions Squadron munitions controller, spends most of her shift logging critical maintenance work information and verifying personnel entering the WSA.

Helm-Lucas acts as a gatekeeper for granting maintenance Airmen access to the WSA where they will perform maintenance on reentry systems and vehicles.

Tight security is in place due to the nature of the nuclear deterrence mission at Malmstrom and every movement and piece of maintenance conducted on reentry systems and vehicles is logged on a spreadsheet for accountability.

Helm-Lucas said there is not much going on at the WSA her team is unaware of.

“The best way to describe it is we are the nerve center for the WSA,” said the Georgia native.

Helm-Lucas also controls access to conventional weapons in the WSA by going through ammunition inventory with the security forces members before and after each use.

“We also have an emergency access checklist in place in the event of unforeseen circumstances” Helm-Lucas said.

In the event an error has occurred, Helm-Lucas and her team are responsible for implementing safety checklists such as evacuation, securing a nuclear weapon and disseminating information throughout the chain of command.

Helm-Lucas has been in the maintenance career field for more than three years but has been a munitions controller for eight months. Before joining the Air Force, Helm-Lucas received her bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and joined the Air Force to travel and put her degree to use.

“My life goals and Air Force goals are not different,” Helm-Lucas said. “I always try to be the best I can be and give 100 percent of myself in everything I do.”

She said her positive mindset and the people she considers Malmstrom family is what keeps her going.

Larry Wilson, 341st MUNS personnel reliability program monitor and unit security manager, works with Helm-Lucas on a daily basis and said he enjoys working with her.

“(Helm-Lucas) is instrumental in putting a smile on my face,” Wilson said. “I’m not sure if the Air Force will be successful in keeping her for another enlistment but we can always hope.”

She said she doesn’t know if she wants to reenlist or separate, however, she said she does have an interest in commissioning in the Air Force.

Helm-Lucas hopes to make staff sergeant soon, would like to eventually pursue a career in cyber security after the Air Force and plans to be as happy as she can for as long as she can no matter which path she takes.

“Until I decide what I’m going to do, I look forward to becoming a team chief and traveling around the country.”