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The pride of F.E. Warren

A Peacekeeper Missile replica stands near F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., Gate 1 April 4, 2012. The missile was the most powerful weapon in the U.S. arsenal until its deactivation in 2005. A Peacekeeper Missile site is scheduled to be turned into a museum in Wyoming, the only state in which the missile system was active. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

A Peacekeeper Missile replica stands near F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., Gate 1 April 4, 2012. The missile was the most powerful weapon in the U.S. arsenal until its deactivation in 2005. A Peacekeeper Missile site is scheduled to be turned into a museum in Wyoming, the only state in which the missile system was active. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. Oriez)

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

F.E. Warren Air Force Base has a rich history dating back to 1867 where it was originally Fort David Allen Russell. What makes F.E. Warren unique is that it is one of three strategic missile bases, the other two being Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota and Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. 

Outside of F.E. Warren AFB is a display of three Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. The three missiles displayed are the Minuteman I, the Minuteman III and the Peacekeeper.

The Minuteman I missiles were first introduced in 1961. Its newer version, the Minuteman III, is still used to this day. The Peacekeeper missiles were produced and deployed in 1985 and were later retired in 2005.

“The Airmen of F.E. Warren Air Force Base should feel proud to see the three missiles outside of the gate because they are visual representations of why we are here: to provide our nation with strategic deterrence,” said Lt. Col. Christine Hernandez, Deputy Commander of the 90th Maintenance Group. “They serve as a centerpiece uniting all Airmen stationed here, regardless of AFSC, in providing options to the President.”

The maintainers here on base have a chance to work on a piece of history.

“Maintainers take pride in accomplishing the mission,” said Hernandez. “They travel hundreds of miles in the middle of nowhere, in some incredibly harsh weather conditions, to perform a mission that many do not know exist. It is the pride of getting the job done so they can return home to do it all over again and seeing the fruits of their labor during a test launch or hearing about how the weapon system’s existence provides daily leverage to the United States that deepens that pride.”

The Minuteman missiles are predicted to be replaced by the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) in the year 2029. 

“GBSD serves as a continuation of our nation’s commitment to strategic deterrence through the land based leg of the triad,” said Hernandez. “The period of transition will be complex with maintaining the current weapon system while posturing for the future; however, being the first wing out the gate at the oldest continuously operating base serves as a beacon to the future.”