Taking initiative for the ICBM mission

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Malcolm Mayfield
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
Effective communication is essential to the success of any military organization, and that effective communication must be present at all layers. This also applies to Airmen who are part of Air Force Global Strike Command.

Missileers, from the 90th, 91st and 341st missile wings, rely heavily on communication channels to be effective.

The missile communications maintenance sections at each wing maintain the communication equipment - including the Nuclear Command, Control and Communication systems - used by the ICBM launch control centers, launch facilities and the base command posts.

Tech. Sgt. Dan Sutton, 20th Air Force ICBM communications manager, assists in acquiring necessary tools to help the MCM sections accomplish the mission.

"The MCM sections are critical to the mission because they ensure U.S. Strategic Command operation requirements for communications are maintained," Sutton said. "This means emergency action messages, or launch execution orders, and routine messages can be delivered to the missile combat crews that execute the nuclear mission."

Sutton and several liaisons for units in the missile wings work under Chief Master Sgt. Brian Arbegast, 20th AF logistics and communication's chief.

"Sutton was hand selected for this position," Arbegast said. "He came highly recommended and was admired by his peers."

Sutton said he works hard to give his children someone to be proud of.
"Other than work, everything I do is focused on how it will reflect on [my children]," Sutton said. "I always believe actions speak the loudest and hope my actions set a good example to others."

When not working to revamp the MCM section, Sutton said he enjoys creative hobbies as an outlet from work, such as woodworking.

"It allows me to get away and relieve stress [along with] creating things for other people," Sutton added. "I just finished a gift box that was a gift for someone special to me."

Woodworking and his family give him a chance to take a breather from challenges he faces at work, he said.

There are many long-standing areas that need improvement and attention in the missile communications area, but according to Sutton, upgrading training equipment by making it as operationally realistic as possible will increase the quality of training.

"[Sutton] will have a few hurdles to overcome in the future, but he has the skill necessary to [make it happen] and knows when to ask for help," Arbegast said. "He is a good Airman and a good role model."

Sutton is currently working on improving the training equipment used by the MCM sections.

"He takes a lot of initiative and coordinates well with the wings to see what they need," Arbegast said.

Issues are brought to light during Sutton's coordination with the units leading to his efforts to improve their work environment. 

Sutton will put on the rank of master sergeant July 1, 2015.

"There won't be a big change to my current duties, however there are significant changes in responsibility that come along with moving into the senior NCO corps," Sutton said.
Sutton said teamwork is the key to success and the reason he is where he is today.

"Several things have helped me in my career," Sutton said. "Working with good subordinates, peers and supervisors; having a strong work ethic, putting in my best effort and staying focused. I know I have a family that depends on me."