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2020 All-Female Alert

The all-female alert team stands ready to take up positions in the missile field for the fifth year in a row at F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, March 12, 2020. These women pay tribute to the females who served before them, prepared to take on the alert alongside their sisters-in-arms. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicole Reed)

The all-female alert team stands ready to take up positions in the missile field for the fifth year in a row at F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, March 12, 2020. These women pay tribute to the females who served before them, prepared to take on the alert alongside their sisters-in-arms. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicole Reed)

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

Female missileers from the 90th Missile Wing took over nuclear deterrence across Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska on March 12, 2020, during an all-female alert at F. E. Warren Air Force Base Missile Complex.  

 

“Every single day approximately 90 missileers travel more than 20,000 square miles, report to their capsules about 60 feet below ground, and control the world’s most powerful weapons system,” said Chief Master Sgt. Tiffany Bettisworth, 90th Missile Wing command chief. 

 

“Today, all of them are females,” Bettisworth emphasized. 

 

The role women play in the United States military is consistently intensifying. According to the Department of Defense, women now make up 20 percent of the U.S. Air Force. 

 

The annual all-female alert honors female history and pays tribute to the female missileers who go above and beyond in what used to be a predominantly male career. 

 

On the morning of the event, the missileers shared bagels and coffee with the Cheyenne Women’s Civic League and wing command chief before beginning their 24-hour shifts. 

 

“Thanks to everyone who may not be wearing the uniform but supports this mission,” Chief acknowledged. “It is because of the relationships we have built here in Cheyenne that we are successful in our mission.” 

 

After a commemorative group photo, Bettisworth said a few more words before sending the women off to protect the country. 

 

“This is a compliment to how far we have come as a nation,” she said. “This is a thank you to all of the men and women who see inequality and push for equality.”

 

On the night of March 12, 2020, the world went to sleep while a team of dedicated women stood watch.