Day at the MUNSeum

  • Published
  • By R.J. Oriez
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
F.E. Warren Air Force Base is the oldest, continuously-operating installation in the Air Force. As such, the F.E. Warren ICBM and Heritage Museum has displays ranging from Buffalo Soldier cavalry artifacts to the Peacekeeper ICBM components.

Included in the collection is a display of Minuteman III missile components. Paula Taylor has been the museum curator for more than 22 years and says the museum has had the pieces for at least 20 of those years. In that time, care and maintenance was at a minimum.

"It was just what I would do as a museum person -- dusting and making sure they were cleaned off in that manner," Taylor said.

Fortunately for Taylor, Staff Sgt. Angela McAllister, 90th Munitions Squadron, volunteered to help at the museum. McAllister is also the president of the squadron's heritage committee.

Taylor recounts how McAllister told her she thought her coworkers might be able to help.

"She said, 'Those guys might be able to put this together. It looks like you have all the parts.'" Taylor remembers. "'I'll have someone come over and take a look at it.'"

McAllister coordinated the effort with Master Sgt. Adam Rodriguez, 90th MUNS, to work on a plan forward. Once they had a plan to present, they went to Maj. Stephanie Wilson, 90th MUNS commander.

"They realized this was not a representation of what we wanted of 90th MUNS," Wilson said. "They asked me and I went through the chain to make sure it was good to go."

As a result, on the afternoon of June 20 approximately a dozen Airmen and family members came to the museum to do what they routinely do at work during their time off.

"It's important for the community to be able to see a more accurate representation of what these great guys and gals due every single day," Wilson said, "as well as to honor the heritage of those who came before."

The Airmen performed corrosion control on the museum's missile shroud, cleaned it and made sure the markings were correct.

"They also cleaned off and did corrosion control on the payload support system and cleaned the reentry system," Wilson said.

The Airmen went beyond merely cleaning the pieces the museum had on display

"They came in and spruced the missile pieces up, cleaned them up, and polished them up," Taylor said. "Then they actually put the pieces and parts where they needed to go so a visitor can see how it would be connected and stacked up on there.

"Because of that, visitors are going to have the opportunity to see what the missile would really look like," Taylor said.

The desire to help show what maintainers do out of the public's sight motivated many of the Airmen to give up some of their time off.

"I felt I needed to be here to help so that people who come after us can see this and see what we do every day," said Airman 1st Class Joshua Stutzman. "I want to show people what we do because I'm proud of what we do."