Meteorologist forecasts in more than 140 countries for Army Materiel Command

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REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (WHNT)-- As the saying goes, if a soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, or eats it, the Army Materiel Command provides it.

In order to do that, though, there is some key data needed for logistics purposes: weather forecasts, by none other than Captain James Melton, the AMC Staff Weather Officer.

"[The AMC has] a presence in over 140 countries, and [thousands of] personnel," he said. "I support any of those customers in countries around the world."

So Captain Melton keeps watch over weather in more than 140 different countries, depending on the AMC's needs. It's not all at one time of course, but he'll admit it can be overwhelming. But he is also quick to say it's very rewarding for him to see how his forecasts aid and affect the AMC's actions and missions.

"Commanders in the field need to know what the weather's going to be for their mission, for their vehicles, for personnel, for what type of equipment they need to bring with them," he said.

Sometimes he gets special requests from leaders in one area to help them plan movements, and he's always keeping an eye on severe weather across the world. Melton says his work came in handy as troops and equipment moved out of Afghanistan recently.

"There were several typhoons they had to mitigate," he said, remembering the weather last summer.

He also monitors volcanic activity and earthquakes across the globe. Depending on their severity, it may trigger AMC humanitarian aid.

Captain Melton is with the Air Force, now stationed at Redstone Arsenal to support the Army. It's an interesting partnership between both forces when it comes to weather, he says.

"Without the Air Force weather support, it would be very difficult to do my job," he said.

But it's also important for him to communicate with other local weather agencies, a team of meteorologists who come together when a storm hits us here at home. Leaders at Redstone Arsenal use Captain Melton's forecasts, with other resources, to determine whether to close or delay opening during severe weather.

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