F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein visited Airmen at a missile alert facility in the F.E. Warren Air Force Base missile complex, Dec. 19-20.
Airmen stand watch 24/7/365, ensuring the nation’s nuclear deterrence capability is equipped and ready at a moment’s notice. The men and women who operate, protect and maintain the 150 Minuteman III ICBMs stay at one of 15 missile alert facilities when they deploy to the field.
“The globe is not getting any safer, and I believe the nuclear enterprise supports all military operations and all courses of diplomacy on the planet,” Goldfein said. “When I describe what the Air Force does for the nation, I start with a safe and reliable nuclear deterrent and work my way out from there. We provide deterrence and then we defend the homeland.”
Goldfein received a tour of the MAF and spoke with the Airmen about their unique role in the mission. He also visited the launch control center and spoke to the missileers who remain underground for 24 hours at a time, operating the ICBMs.
“We demonstrated our day-to-day operations such as targeting, launching procedures and communicating with other capsules,” said 1st Lt. Ashley Mirsky, 319th Missile Squadron missile combat crew commander. “Gen. Goldfein is one of the missileers’ biggest advocates out here in the missile field. His desire to tour our MAF really shows his effort to make things better and improve our mission capability.”
Goldfein stayed the night at the MAF and ate breakfast prepared by a missile chef.
“Having Gen. Goldfein visit my MAF was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Staff Sgt. Kurtis Wimberly, 319th MS facility manager. “Having him get this firsthand experience here at the MAF demonstrates his priorities as the new Air Force Chief of Staff.”
The following morning, members of the 90th Missile Security Forces Squadron demonstrated the fire-team’s ability to provide security to a nearby ICBM launch facility.
At the end of the tour, a UH-1N “Huey” from the 37th Helicopter Squadron flew Goldfein out of the missile field. The ride gave him one last glimpse of the ICBM mission, showcasing the overlapping security measures which are in place to protect America’s assets.
This visit highlighted that the nuclear deterrence mission remains a top priority for the Air Force. Our story always starts with this mission, Goldfein said.
The men and women on the front lines of the ICBM mission are dedicated professionals, and Goldfein emphasized that the American people can sleep well at night because the 90th MW is standing watch.