F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --
The 90th Missile Wing participated in a Simulated Electronic Launch-Minuteman test Aug. 21 and 22, 2018, at the F.E. Warren Air Force Base missile complex. The SELM test is done every six months at one of the three missile bases on a rotating schedule.
“SELM is an Air Force Global Strike Command directed test of the deployed weapons system,” said Capt. Patrick Crawford, 576th flight test squadron 18-2M test manager-advisor. “It is executed to support major command and unified combatant command requirements. Ultimately, the results of this test provide data that informs U.S. Strategic Command of the weapon system reliability.”
The official test only spans a few days, but the preparation for the test began months in advance and required multiple organizations to work seamlessly. Some of the crews involved were:
• 625th Strategic Operations Squadron
• 90th Missile Wing
• 576th Flight Test Squadron
One of the major players in the planning phase was the 576th Flight Test Squadron.
“Preparations and planning for SELM at the 576th begin about six months before executing the test,” Capt. Benjamin Hunt, 576th FLTS chief ICBM sustainment training. “We are responsible for selecting the test facilities, writing the test objectives and test plan, and being the conduit that coordinates between all of the organizations that have a role in SELM.”
The team was also responsible for assisting the 90th MW with final preparations on site, three weeks before testing and conducting the test.
The 320th Missile Squadron from F.E. Warren, along with the 90th Maintenance Group and the 90th Security Forces Squadron were in collaboration to ensure the proper measures for a safe and effective launch were taken.
“There were about 45 maintenance technicians who were directly responsible for the posture and restoration of the SELM sites,” said Capt. Daniel Gieck, 90th Missile Maintenance Squadron generation flight commander. “The missile maintenance team does the installation of the SELM wafer; they connect all cables to the SELM control monitor. The electromechanical team completes the coding actions and the site isolation to ensure a safe test. Quality assurance oversees their respective maintenance teams to ensure it is properly conducted. QA also is a part of the last look team and the anomaly analysis team.”
The airborne testing was held Aug. 21 with a successful launch simulation.
“This SELM allowed the Airborne Launch Control System to prove its airborne launch capability as well as provide data demonstrating the reliability of the weapon system,” said Capt. Joshua Wenta, 625th Strategies Operations Squadron flight commander. “The unique capability of the ALCS increases the survivability of the nation’s ICBM ground force while also complicating our adversaries’ targeting abilities. Accomplishing the SELM validates these claims and increases the deterrent capability of the Minuteman III ICBM weapon system.”