I joined the military (US Army) in 1979 and became a nuclear warhead specialist. Guess what was issued in our tool boxes?? You got it- Milbar safety wire pliers. We used them to secure the bolts and timer knobs on the warheads. I served 2 years in West Germany before being transferred to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. After 4 years in the Army I was motivated to join the United States Marine Corps. So I transferred, went to boot camp and ended up in Camp Pendleton, California. My Commander did not like me being a combat engineer and changed my orders. I got a new assignment as a Harrier Electrician. Yep- I was now in the air wing. I served 6 glorious years in the Corps as a weapons and fuel wiring expert. Yes of course there were Milbar safety wire pliers in all our flight tool bags.
Bet you are wondering about the pair in my toolbox at home. Well they lay idle for a few years until about 2006, when I got my A&P and back to work they went. I was a volunteer missionary mechanic for Alfa Aviation for a few years, using them to secure equipment and control knobs on various aircraft. Although I am now retired I occasionally am asked to help repair an aircraft when needed.
The old Milbar safety wire pliers finally gave out. It no longer locks in so you can spin it. I took a chance on getting it repaired. I sent it in to Stride Tool to see if it could be fixed. No luck, but Jennifer and the crew here were very nice and sent me a new one. I will treasure it; put it to good use and care.
I’m donating the old one to the Milbar museum where it will have a nice resting place.”
John Wilson (Semper Fi to all)