Airmen make the 90th Missile Wing’s mission possible

  • Published
  • By Airman Sarah Post
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

The main focus of the 90th Missile Wing’s mission is the missiles themselves. But the 50-year-old system needs help to keep it going, and that is what the 90th Maintenance Group is for.

Tech. Sgt. Adam Urban, electromechanical team supervisor, 90th Missile Maintenance Squadron, and his Airmen play a large part in keeping the missile systems running today. Urban joined the Air Force 15 years ago for education and his family and has stayed in because he enjoys his career field. He likes being a part of something bigger than himself.

A decade and a half later, he is still a maintainer. Urban uses his experience to be a supervisor and help his Airmen. Urban helps his Airmen in every way he can with both work and personal problems. He supports his Airmen with their problems, provides mentorship and advice, but mostly makes sure they are ready and able to go out to the field with the correct parts and tools.

“I think the biggest difference I make is by helping my Airmen,” said Urban.

The EMT is one of the biggest shops in 90 MMXS and is the primary team to dispatch into the field to do routine maintenance and fix the systems. They are a 24-hour shop and have teams in the field every day of the week – including holidays. Airmen in this squadron are responsible for making sure the missiles stay in working order so they are able to launch if required.

90 MMXS recently had a problem at a launch facility. The solution was a procedure so rare that Urban claims to have only seen it done once in his 15-year career.

The entrance to the O-02 launch facility was locked shut by water that corroded the locks over time. In order to get into the site, maintenance had to break in through the launcher closure door and lower two maintainers by a harness and crane into the launch tube. This time-consuming procedure is known as the ‘destructive break-in entry’, or the ‘Peter Pan’ because of the way Airmen are harnessed and lowered into the launch tube.

“I was getting lowered into a black hole 85 feet deep with a missile in it,” said Urban. “So going down was a little scary.”

Urban and a second Airmen were able to do the maintenance that the missile needed by being lowered into the launch tube. Maintenance Airmen are a crucial part of the 90th Missile Wing’s mission. They keep the half-century-old missile system running and enforce strategic nuclear deterrence.