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Family day held at MAF

Participants for a family day prepare to leave base and head out to a Missile Alert Facility in the F.E. Warren missile complex on April 28, 2018. The 320th Missile Squadron held this family day in order to equip families with a better understanding of the role their missileer plays while out in the field. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Abbigayle Wagner)

Participants for a family day prepare to leave base and head out to a Missile Alert Facility in the F.E. Warren missile complex on April 28, 2018. The 320th Missile Squadron held this family day in order to equip families with a better understanding of the role their missileer plays while out in the field. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Abbigayle Wagner)

F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --

Missileers from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, trip out to various facilities to pull alert for 24-hours in order to provide deterrence to this nation. In order to equip families with a better understanding of the role their missileer plays, the 320th Missile Squadron held a family day at a Missile Alert Facility in the F.E. Warren missile complex on April 28, 2018.

1st Lt. Kevin Perez, 320th Missile Squadron missileer, was part of the team that put the event together. His wife, 1st Lt. Veronica Perez, 20th Air Force public affairs officer, has been able to see various MAFs throughout her career in the military, but being able to show her around himself gave Kevin a little more excitement.

“I think Veronica enjoyed being able to go out there, see me at work and finally understand what I’m talking about,” said Kevin. “My father-in-law also came out, and it brought him full circle from his working days. He used to work on some of the components that now sit on the MAF. Being able to see the components in action was awesome for him.”

The whole day was a family-friendly experience, and many of the missileers’ children were in attendance. The visit provided them with an opportunity to explore vehicles in the Security Forces Group, watch a helicopter fly in with an Airman repelling down, and see where their mom or dad works.

“I think the kids had a really good time playing outside with the displays,” said Kevin. “Going down in the launch control center, I believe, was most exciting for the adults.”

Although the day was filled with various stations for the participants to partake in, Capt. Joseph Whelan II, 320th Missile Squadron missileer, said the most impactful part of the day was the drive out to the MAF.

“Most of the families drove out themselves, and it created a deeper appreciation for the job their missileer does,” said Whelan. “The consensus after the drive was that it was longer than expected, even though they visited one of the closer sites. It allowed the families to gain a deeper perspective into the approximately two-hour drive to work, a 24-hour shift, and then a long drive back home.”

The day ended with the two missileers on alert trailing behind the group with their loved ones to say a final good-bye after a day filled with events.

After months of planning and working to get the families clearance to visit the MAF, the team hopes to do it all over again.

“As a nuclear deterrence force, we are proud of our job,” said Kevin. “We want to show off what we do as much as possible, so hopefully, we can hold another event later this year.”