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  • 06 May 2024 22:05 | Anonymous

    Fellow Missileers:

    On Saturday, 11 May 2024, @ 0900, there will be a muster ceremony for ICBM missile community members (missileers, maintainers, security forces, facility managers, military family members, etc.), lost to probable service-related cancer and other illnesses. It will be held at Pikes Peak National Cemetery, Colorado Springs, CO, Section 6, near site 193 (Mark Holmes’ gravesite). Mark Holmes was a former 10th Missile Squadron, 3 SOPS and 19 SOPS member. He died on 12 May 2020 after a short battle with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. We will use the anniversary of Mark’s death to remember him and the many others that were lost to similar circumstances, the fallen Airmen of 20 AF. (Note: the ceremony is being held 11 May instead of 12 May to deconflict with Mother’s Day.)

    This will be a 10 min ceremony to remember those ICBM community members who have passed. Their names will be read and a roll call answered for them in their absence.

    You are welcome to forward the invitation to other missile community members that may want to attend This will not be a formal event, and you can wear business casual or casual attire.

    Making It Better!

    Imagine you’re driving to your first assignment with your new bride in the middle of winter. You left your home in Florida, went to training in California, got married, and now you’re pulling up to the Minot AFB main gate. Emblazoned across the gate are the words “Only the Best Come North”. As you lower your window to show your ID, the cold wind smacks into your face. The Security Forces guard smiles, and says, I noticed your Florida plates, are you new to Minot?” You reply “yes”, and she directs you to the Welcome Center.

    You casually glance at the outside temp gage on your convertible Mustang instrument cluster and it reads minus 21 degrees. Your bride looks at you, and says “don’t worry, I’ll be ok, I just need to buy some warmer clothes”. Warmer clothes are not the only things that families have to buy when moving to a cold weather assignment. How about an engine block heater to keep the car engine warm so your car will start on cold days...and don’t forget that heavy duty extension cord required to plug your car into the parking lot outlets. Other costs for families could include warm boots, gloves, “long johns”, snowsuits, and possibly a humidifier for your home.

    Effective April 1, the Department of the Air Force approved a new incentive pay for Airmen assigned to qualifying bases in the U.S. where the temperature is expected to drop below minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit.Cold Weather Assignment Incentive Pay is a single lump sum payment given to Airmen after signing an agreement to serve a prescribed tour length of at least 12 months, depending on the qualifying location. Currently, locations that meet this threshold include Minot and Grand Forks Air Force Bases and Cavalier Space Force Station in North Dakota, Clear Space Force Station, Eielson Air Force Base and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, as well as Malmstrom AFB, Montana.

    The AF has recognized there are expenses that Airmen and families incur at some bases that are not reimbursed with travel pay. Cold Weather Assignment Pay helps our Airmen and families. The one-time stipend ensures service members and their families stationed at these critical installations have the support needed to be successful.

    Want to know more? See  Baby Its Cold Outside

    Malmstrom AFB made Montana News

    Montana Right Now posted a video highlighting our great people serving in the ICBM fields. You may recognize at least one of the missileers in the news. The video is only 3.5 minutes long, will take you into A01, and is pretty cool!

    Want to know more? See  This Force is With You!

    Nuclear and Missile Operations Promotions:

    Selection rates to Major for missileers and information warfare Captains remained steady while all other AF career fields dropped. It’s becoming harder to get promoted to Major, but missileers are faring better than other career fields. In April the Air Force released the promotion stats for the ‘23 promotion boards. In all, 1,995 new majors were selected out of 2,367 captains considered at the 23-selection board. The overall selection rate was about 84 percent. According to data provided by the Air Force Personnel Center, the 2022 promotion board process resulted in 2,177 new majors from a field of 2,531, for a selection rate of 86 percent.

    Since 2020, officers are now put into six categories: Air operations and Special Warfare, Combat Support, Force Modernization, Information Warfare, Nuclear and Missile Operations, and Space Operations (see Categories ). Prior to this, missile officers were lumped into a single massive Line of the Air Force group, regardless of specialty. Now officers compete against officers in the same profession. Missile officers compete against Missile officers in their same year group.

    So, how is it working out for active duty missileers. The answer is better compared to when Missileers were lumped into a massive group. For missileers competing for Major against other missileers, the promotion rate was one of the two career fields that did not drop from the previous year.

    Want to know more? See Selection rates fell in 2024 for all captains except those in nuclear and missile operations, and information warfare

    Family of Hellhounds--

    This is a great story about triplets who went though High School together, joined the Air Force together...But wait there’s more and if you want to read about them, go to the link below.

    See their story:  Hellhounds

    What Does Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA), Vandenberg Space Base, AF Nuclear Weapon Center and Sentinel Have in Common?

    The Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center ( AFIMSC) at JBSA, San Antonio is executing a multi-year design and construction program to provide beddown for the Department of the Air Force nuclear deterrence mission. Under the program, AFIMSC recently spearheaded the award of a $120 million contract to deliver a new Sentinel test infrastructure at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. The award is the result of the collaborative partnership between the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, Air Force Global Strike Command, the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, Vandenberg Space Force Base, AFIMSC’s Detachment 10 and the California District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deliver a 148,444 square-foot, consolidated maintenance facility to support testing and launch operations for the Air Force’s Sentinel Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Program. Below is a proposed illustration of the Sentinel Launch Center.

    “Be Authentic”—Major General Stacy Huser, Commander 20th Air Force

    In May 2023 then Brig. Gen. Stacy Jo Huser was the Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application, with the National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. She was the guest speaker at a Tea talk held at White Sands Missile Range where she spoke about her leadership perspective. Many of you may have met her at AAFM’s last meeting in Utah and hopefully we can hear her 20th Air Force perspectives at our October meeting at Vandenberg Space Base.

    Want to know more: See  Be Authentic

    20th AF 80th Anniversary Celebrated:

    Maj. Gen. Stacy Huser, Twentieth Air Force commander, and former Alabama state senator Henry Erwin, remove the covering of a stanchion recognizing Erwin's father, Henry "Red" Erwin, during a ceremony at the newly dedicated Erwin Hall Twentieth Air Force headquarters on F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, April 4, 2024. Erwin Jr. visited the base as part of the rededication ceremony event renaming the Twentieth Air Force headquarters building to honor his father, the NAF's only Medal of Honor recipient. To honor his memory, 20th Missile Boosters, a separate nonprofit organization, has developed memorial patches, coins, and stickers to raise money for a permanent memorial plaque. The flyers below tell you how to obtain these limited-edition commemoratives.



    James F. Warner

    Executive Director

  • 13 Apr 2024 11:38 | Anonymous

    Fellow Missileers:

    If you are interested in learning more about the current state of our nuclear triad then I'd encourage you to look at the upcoming Strategic Deterrent Coalition (SDC) Symposium in Las Vegas. We work closely with the SDC to educate the public on the status of our forces and this is a key event for them. Their list of speakers is impressive! Here is more from the SDC:

    The Strategic Deterrent Coalition’s Ninth Annual Symposium on May 9, 2024, at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa, Las Vegas, NV is fast approaching. Our theme for this conference is Deterrence: Remembering Why It Exists. The events will begin with a Nevada National Security Site Tour the morning of May 8th, followed by our Strategic Deterrence Coalition reception in the evening of May 8, 2024, at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa. The Symposium will be held at the hotel all day on 9 May ending with a reception and dinner. The keystone event of our Symposium will be the attendance and participation by both the Chair and Vice Chair of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States.    

    Go the the SDC site for registration: https://www.sdc-usa.org

    Our list of confirmed senior leader speakers/panelists include:    

     *The Honorable Madelyn Creedon, Chair, Congressional Commission on The Strategic Posture of The United States.

    *The Honorable Marshall S. Billingslea, Commissioner, Congressional Commission on The Strategic Posture of The United States.

    *  Dr. Brad Roberts, Director, Center for Global Security Research.

    *  General Paul J. Selva (USAF Retired), former Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    *  General Robin Rand (USAF Retired), former Commander, Air Force Global Strike Command.

    *  General Glen D. VanHerck (USAF Retired), former Commander, United States Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command

    *Lieutenant General Andrew J. Gebara, Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration (HAF/A10).

    *Dr. Steven Van Dyk (SES), Chief Engineer, Navy Strategic Systems Programs.

    *Dr. Greg Brown, Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

    *Dr. Illimar Ploom,  Associate Professor, Department of Strategic Studies and Innovation, Estonian Military Academy. (ZOOM)

    *Nicholas J. Taylor, Chief, Deterrence Research, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, United Kingdom Ministry of Defense.

    *Garrett Harencak (Maj Gen USAF Ret), President and CEO, Mission Support and Test Services, LLC.

    *Major General John J. Nichols, Director, Global Operations (J3), United States Strategic Command.

    *Major General Jason R. Armagost, Commander, Eighth Air Force, Air Force Global Strike Command.




    James F. Warner

    Executive Director

  • 02 Apr 2024 22:21 | Anonymous

    Fellow Missileers:

    Here's an update on what's going on around the force:

    Women’s History Month Puzzler: Who was the first woman to receive a military pension in the American Revolutionary War? (See answer somewhere in the Dispatch)

    McDonalds vs Nunn-McCurdy vs Sentinel ICBM

    Recently, the cost of a McDonalds Big Mac Meal reached $18.00 in Darien Connecticut. See: (A Critical Breach). In 1993 the cost of a Big Mac Meal was $2.99 which is around a 600% increase to $18 bucks. If the Big Mac Meal were a DOD program, it would be a “Critical” breach of the Nunn-McCurdy Congressional reporting process! Inflation is impacting all parts of the US economy and especially Defense major acquisition programs like Sentinel.

    Although not as bad as an $18.00 Big Mac, the Sentinel ICBM program critically breached Nunn-McCurdy limits by around 37% and the program is looking at a possible two-year slip. This breach is still being evaluated by the SECDEF. Northrop Grumman, which won the Sentinel contract in 2020, has struggled with inflated supply chain issues, workforce shortages and clearance issues, as identified by the Government Accountability Office. See:  (GAO)

    Air Force Officials recently have also been faced with the program’s challenges. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall stating there are  (Unknown, Unknowns) . For example, The Air Force’s original plan for modernizing its ICBM enterprise included keeping nearly all its existing copper cabling in place to be reused for Sentinel. That’s roughly 7,500 miles’ worth of copper cabling, connecting 400 half-century-old MM III silos scattered through the Great Plains region with launch control centers and other facilities. See:  (Copper vs Fiber).

    The impact of this possible delay has the “budget vultures” in Washington DC starting to circle. Once again Congressional representatives are asking questions about extending MMIII. For example: “Why does the Air Force continue to publicly state that the Minuteman III is too old and impossible to maintain while knowing that the Minuteman III must be maintained until at least 2037”?   Please read the following letter sent to Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Manager and Comptroller from (Rep) John Garamendi and co-signed by Senator Warren.

    See: (Garamendi/Warren)

    It would be nice for both of them to dispatch with a Comm Team at Minot in the middle of winter to repair a break in 50-year-old copper cable buried 5 to 10 feet in frozen ground.

    Meanwhile...China is building three new ICBM fields (FAS Article) and Russia’s new heavy “Satan II” ICBM is now on “combat duty” See (On Alert) . If you can find the time, please mail a handwritten or typed letter with your view on Sentinel to:

    Senator Elizabeth Warren

    309 Hart Senate Office Building.

    Washington, DC 20510-2104


    And to

    US Representative John Garamendi

    2004 Rayburn HOB

    Washington, DC  20515


    Note: Handwritten or typed letters are always preferred as their staff just can’t hit the email delete button.

    Now for Something Entirely Different

    Let’s just suppose you are driving out to the AAFM National Meeting in October or heading out for your summer vacation. If you are close to Hill AFB, there is a “labor of Minutemen love” you need to stop and see. Two of our AAFM members (Carlos Rice and Jim Sorenson) built a 99.9% replica of a Minuteman LCC. But wait, there is more...there are MM Reentry Vehicles and for really old former crew members an Emergency Communication System (ERCS) console used to record and load an execution message into a missile.

    The ERCS console was also an excellent way to garner a critical error on an evaluation. Once the  crew received an execution message and authenticated it, the Crew Commander would use the ERCS console to record the message. If the crew messed up at any time during the recording or launch process and an invalid message was loaded, causing a launch delay...you guessed, it...”Crit City”! This link (LCC) will take you to the Hill Aerospace Museum web page where you can try and find the pink bunny slippers. (Revolutionary War Pension)

    Around the Force

    March is Women's History Month, an occasion to heighten awareness of the contributions women have made to history and continue the long-standing tradition of excellence in American society. Below are some pictures.

    Malmstrom AFB: 

    The Wing  received its first Grey Wolf helicopter. We have all been watching the process as the Grey Wolf moved through acquisition. Finally...it’s in the field.

    Minot AFB: Minot takes home AFGSC Outstanding Team of the Year Award. This is the third consecutive year Team Minot has clinched the award. U.S. Air Force Capt. Allyson Wells, 91st Operational Support Staff flight commander, recalled how three consecutive victories highlighted the consistency of Team Minot’s commitment to excellence. Want to know more?  (Three wins)

    FE Warren: The 90th Missile Wing missile alert facility feeding operation on F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, won the John L. Hennessy Trophy. The Hennessy Award is granted to bases with exceptional food service operations, promoting the importance of keeping personnel fed on base and in the missile field. “I’m so proud of our Chadwell Dining Facility and missile feeding teams,” said Maj. Jennifer Holmstrom, 90th Force Support Squadron commander. If you ever have the opportunity to eat at FE’s dining facility, they make a darn good omelet or tofu stir fry. Burrp...excuse me, but it was really tasty!

    20th Air Force: 20th is celebrating its’ 80th Anniversary in April and honoring the only 20th Air Force Medal of Honor winner (then) SSgt Henry ‘Red” Eugene Erwin Sr. During a 1945 bombing mission over Koriyama, Japan, a white phosphorus bomb  prematurely ignited in his aircraft and seriously wounded him. As smoke filled the plane, he picked up the burning device and carried it through the aircraft to the cockpit where he tossed it out a window. Although he suffered severe burns, he successfully saved his plane and all crew members aboard by disposing of the incendiary/smoke-generating bomb. To honor his memory, On 4 April 2024, HQ 20 AF, Building 65, will be rededicated as “Erwin Hall”.

    To commemorate  the occasion and help pay for a metal plaque to be installed, the Missile Booster Association is selling patches, coins, and stickers. To purchase them, see the flyer below.

    Reunions and Gatherings:

    The 390th Strategic Missile Wing Memorial Association is having a reunion in Tucson for the 40th anniversary of the 390th SMW shutdown September 25-28 2024. Information on the reunion can be found at http://www.390smw.org, or contact Don Boelling at president@390smw.org.

    The 2024 Black Hills Bandits 30th Anniversary Reunion will be held 5-8 September at the Hart Ranch RV Resort in Rapid City, SD.  You can get more information or register at: https://www.afmissileers.org/event-5603265



    James F. Warner

    Executive Director

  • 03 Mar 2024 22:27 | Anonymous

    Fellow Missileers:

    AAFM Board of Directors Balloting is CLOSED: Thanks to all of you that took the time to vote online or send me a ballot for our 2024 Board of Directors.  Congratulations to returning Board members CMSgt (ret) Shane Finders and CMSgt (ret) John Baker and newly elected members Maj Gen (ret) Fred Stoss and Col (ret) Rich Hutchins.  We thank all of those who showed an interest and hope to keep you involved in future activities.  Electees will start their six-year term on May 1st.

    AAFM is seeking your help: In support of our upcoming book on Minuteman art, we are still seeking pictures, artist names and contacts for crewmembers who did the blast door and tunnel junction artwork at our deactivated wings: Ellsworth, Whiteman, and Grand Forks.  While we have received some inputs, we are still missing information on a lot of the artists.  Additionally, we are still seeking any artwork done at the following sites: 44th : A, B, C and E; 321st : N; and the 351st : C, D, E, G.  The Air Force has already captured all of the artwork at Warren, Minot, and Malmstrom for us and I have asked those units for help in identifying the artists but if you have information, I’ll take it. We’re also seeking any lithographs done related to Minuteman such as the prints by Karen Renninger, Warren Neary, and Joe Andrew—we have those but are seeking others. Negative replies not required. Send all information on these items to me at Director@AFMissileers.org  

    AAFM National Meeting: Don’t forget to register for the AAFM National Meeting at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton, CA scheduled for 23-27 October.  Maj Gen Stacy Jo Huser will be our guest speaker on Friday night.  At the membership meeting on Saturday we’ll hear from the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine on the cancer study.  We’ll also hear a personal perspective from Lt Col Danny Sebeck on his experiences with cancer treatment and his involvement in the Torchlight Initiative.  We have invited incoming CMSAF Dave Flosi, a Malmstrom Maintenance group alumnus, to speak on Thursday night and AFGSC/CC Gen Tom Bussiere to speak at the inaugural Hall of Fame banquet on Saturday night. More on speaker confirmation as it happens. The Fess Parker Winery tour on Thursday is limited to the first 100 who sign up.

    US Nuclear and Space Commanders Warn America is Being Outpaced by Russia and China at ‘Breathtaking’ Rate


    Gen Cotton Testimony before the SENATE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES, Feb 29, 2024

    “The [People’s Republic of China] is surpassing the United States, and its number of fixed intercontinental ballistic missile launchers and projections indicate its nuclear arsenal would encompass approximately 1,000 warheads by 2030,” Cotton testified. “Beyond Russia’s traditional strategic triad, it is expanding and modernizing nuclear options that are not covered by international arms treaties. Last Friday, President [Vladimir] Putin stated that 95% of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces have been modernized.”

    “In short, our competitors are improving their position against the United States and its allies in multiple domains at rates that are far exceeding the pace we’ve seen just a few years ago,” Cotton testified. 

    Want to Know More: Armed Services Committee Testimony


    Russia’s Satan II Missile is Operational

    Russia says its newest nuclear weapons system, the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, is now operational. "The Sarmat strategic complex has been put on combat duty," Yury Borisov, the director general of the state space corporation Roscosmos, said in a media appearance. It had been due to go on combat duty at the end of 2022.

    The Sarmat will replace Soviet-era Voevoda missiles, known by the NATO designation SS-18 "Satan," in Russia's strategic arsenal. As the SS-18's successor, the Sarmat has been nicknamed "Satan II" in the West.

    Putin said that the "invulnerable" silo-based weapon has been in development since 2001, following President George W. Bush's decision to pull out of a 1972 U.S.-Soviet anti-ballistic missile treaty. Revealing the weapon, Putin addressed the U.S. and said he had warned Bush not to withdraw from the treaty. "You didn't listen to our country then," he said, "Listen to us now."

    Russia's newest weapon is the RS-28 Sarmat "Satan-2" missile, with 10 heavy reentry vehicles, each with enough payload  to wipe out an area the size of Texas or France. It also features hypersonic glide vehicles to make it less detectable by U.S. or space-based sensor systems and could be immune to American missile defense systems.

     Want to Know More:  Satan II Combat Duty


    Arms Control Association (ACA) is Trying to Kill Sentinel Again

    ACA published an article (March 1st),on the Sentinel cost overrun. The article included the following opinionated statement with no factual support:

                In 2016, former Defense Secretary William Perry wrote in The New York Times “that the United States can safely phase out” its land-based ICBM force. He argued that although the ICBM force is too costly and dangerous, submarine and bomber forces are highly accurate and thus are “sufficient to deter our enemies and will be for the foreseeable future.” AAFM members can advocate support for the Sentinel program by writing their congressional representatives. Our active duty Missileers need your support.

    Want to Know More: ACA Sentinel Article

    Sentinel Testing:

    On Jan. 11, a second static fire test of the solid rocket motor design was successfully completed. In Feb, Northrop Grumman Corporation successfully completed tests of several Sentinel crucial elements including a shroud fly off: marking significant progress for the program in its engineering, manufacturing, and development phase.

    Forward and aft sections of a Sentinel ICBM missile are evaluated through a rigorous test campaign at the company’s Strategic Missile Test and Production Complex in Promontory, Utah. The tests lower risk for the program with important data about the missile’s inflight structural dynamics.

    Want to Know More: Sentinel Testing Moves Forward

    Sentinel Impact:

    Hill AFB’s Sentinel Systems Directorate reportedly has grown to a combined government and contractor workforce of more than 1,400, while Northrop Grumman’s Sentinel workforce now encompasses more than 3,300 professionals.

    An estimated 10,000 people from across the country are expected to participate in the design, manufacturing, construction, and eventual deployment of the Sentinel ICBM system over the next decade and a half.

    Source: Impact

    On a Colder Note—Russian Elections:

    Authorities in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk on January 19 announced a state of emergency after another heating pipe burst -- the third such accident in the last 24 hours and the fourth this week. The latest pipe rupture left more than 100 residential buildings without heating while outside temperatures fell to minus 20 degrees Celsius. Since January 1, accidents at heating and electricity supply systems have been registered in at least 43 regions in Russia. The issue comes as President Vladimir Putin tries to show living standards are good as he runs for reelection in March 24.




    James F. Warner

    Executive Director

  • 03 Feb 2024 08:36 | Anonymous

    Fellow Missileers:

    First, my sincere apologies on the multiple mix-ups on getting the AAFM Board of Directors ballot to you this week but the site is now up and operating. One hundred and eighty members voted in the first twelve hours!  If you have trouble with the ballot, please let me know and I can email you a paper ballot! Now on to the news:

    Board of Directors Meeting:

    The AAFM Board of Directors held a virtual meeting on Saturday, 27 January 2024.  Committee chairs reported on the success of the Museum grant program ($4,500 awarded in 2023) and the Scholarship program ($9,000 awarded in 2023).  The board needs to continue to work with base leadership teams to reach a wider audience on scholarship opportunities. The Awards Committee reported on the upcoming Hall of Fame class to be announced in our May 2024 newsletter and discussed efforts to design a Hall of Fame medallion (see next item). The Patch Gallery continues to grow with 5000 images on the site.  We are planning to re-host the gallery on a new application which will be more responsive and easier to search.  Finally, the Executive Director discussed a series of projects that still need to be tackled including or tracked:

    • Missile Cancer Study
    • Minuteman Art Book
    • Establishing wing chapters (see item below)
    • Commemorating Vandenberg’s LF04 Minuteman role as it transitions to Sentinel
    • National Meeting in October including Hall of Fame Banquet
    • ICBM Memorial Park
    • Investigate Ellsworth Training LF as a National Historic Site
    • Recognizing the missile badge on VA headstones

    Hall of Fame Medallion:

    The Association of Air Force Missileers (AAFM) solicits design submissions for a medallion to be presented to the Air Force Missileers Hall of Fame selectees.  Here are the design criteria:

    • The selected design is to be struck in a three-inch diameter size.
    • Designs should be for only the front side of a round medallion.
    • Submissions should be an electronic image.
    • Designs should be made in six inch that will be reduced to the three-inch format by the contractor.
    • Designs should be on a 12 x 12-inch panel. The panel may be illustration board, paper, etc. Any media, e.g., ink, markers, oil, watercolor, acrylics, pastel, etc. are acceptable.  Four color is preferred. 
    • Either complete or sketch that needs refinement to finish are acceptable. After the committee makes a selection, a final design should be completed in as near-camera ready form as possible. 

    Final selected design criteria shall be determined and provided by AAFM.  By submitting the design, the designer acknowledges the relinquishing of copyright ownership to AAFM for any and all uses of the design in the future by AAFM. All submissions are subject to alterations at the discretion of AAFM without further notice or permission. Submissions are due by 31 March 2024.

    AAFM National Meeting – Buellton, CA:

    Registration is open for the AAFM National Meeting, 23-27 October 2024 in Buellton, CA.  Events include a tour of the Firestone Winery (limited to 100), a day with the missileers at Vandenberg, and the Inaugural banquet for the Air Force Missileers Hall of Fame (Inductees to be publicly announced in May).  Planned Guest speakers include:

    • Dr Tory Woodard, Commander, USAF School of Aerospace Medicine (Confirmed)
    • Col Charles Clegg, Sentinel Senior Material Leader (Invited)
    • Incoming Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force David Flosi (Awaiting start of position to invite)
    • Maj Gen Stacy Jo Huser, 20 AF/CC (confirmed)
    • General Thomas Bussiere, AFGSC/CC (Invited)

     You can find more about each day’s events at our website. https://www.afmissileers.org/event-5413018

    AAFM Local Chapters:

    During the January 2024 Board of Directors meeting, the Board decided to establish AAFM local chapters at each of the ICBM active organization locations.  Initial chapters could include Barksdale, Colorado Springs, F. E. Warren, Malmstrom, Minot, Northern Virginia, Offutt, Ogden, San Antonio, and Vandenberg. These local chapters would, as a minimum, help with membership recruitment, meet with local Air Force leadership, and provide data to the general membership on activities in their local area. Later this week I will be sending out an email to members by area. If you are interested in setting up the first meeting of your local chapter, please let me know.  IF you don’t receive an email from me regarding your local group, please let me know—it’s probably because your address is wrong in our data base.

    Seeking Information:

    The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is curating an exhibition called Defending America & The Galaxy: Star Wars & SDI. It will cover both Reagan's SDI program and the Star Wars films. The exhibit will run March 15-September 2, 2024.  They are still looking for objects related to Reagan's SDI program for the exhibit. IF you worked with SDIO or BMDO and have something you can share, please contact Jennifer Torres contact at jennifer.torres@nara.gov

    Alex Gould, from the UK, is writing a thesis on early UK and US basing concepts for ballistic missiles. He is looking specifically for historical information around Thor and Atlas during the development and deployment of the first launch complexes at Vandenberg and operational sites. Specifically, how site design evolved from the early soft sites for Thor and Atlas D, through to the hardened silos designed for Atlas F and Titan I/II. If you can help Alex, please reach out to him at agould@fournet.co.uk

    Matthew Conaty is writing a monograph on the 1979 documentary “First Strike” produced by KRON-TV in partnership with the Department of Defense and the RAND Corporation.  If you have any information or were involved in the production of this film, please contact Matthew at matthew.conaty@asc.upenn.edu

    Ian (no last name) is seeking information on the blast door artist for the former Titan II site 571-1 in Benson, AZ.  The artwork, entitled “Cochise Stronghold” appears to have been painted in 1981 and signed by P. O. Andrews.  If you pulled alerts at 571-1 or know any information on the artist, please contact Ian at flyingion5711@gmail.com



    James F. Warner

    Executive Director

  • 01 Feb 2024 22:10 | Anonymous

    308 SMW Reunion

    Reunion dates – 11-13 October 2024

    Location Desert Diamond Casino, Tuscan, Arizona

    Arrive 11 Oct - Depart 13 Oct

    Friday evening, 11 Oct - Ice Breaker

    Saturday 10 Aug - Titan 2 museum tour, Pima Air Museum Tour, Transportation provided by Desert Diamond Casino

    Saturday evening Buffett dinner cost TBD

    Sunday depart

    Room cost 124/night

    Reservation information available March 2024 on 308 SMW Facebook site

    Information:  Contact Linda Aldrich at lsaletters@comcast.net

  • 25 Jan 2024 09:11 | Anonymous
    Fellow Missileers

    Earlier this month I had the opportunity to talk once again with Dr Tory Woodard, Commander of the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFSAM) to get an update on the Missile Community Cancer Study (MCCS).  As most of you that are following this closely know, results of round one of the study were recently released.  While environmental results were reassuring for our active-duty force, there is more study work to do.  There will a total of three rounds of testing (round two is underway) to ensure the study also addresses seasonal fluctuations due to things like farming, heat vs air conditioning, etc. according to Dr. Woodard. As the Air Force works to ensure the work conditions are safe for our current alert force, I asked Dr Woodard about the work conditions of those who served in the past and at other locations.  As you all know, with few exceptions, all of the sites at Whiteman, Ellsworth, and Grand Forks were destroyed.  Dr Woodard noted that the team is working on how to document past exposure.  The ongoing epidemiologic study does include individuals who served at these locations. In addition, USAFSAM and AFGSC are aware of current Museum locations and the insights it might provide to a pre-REACT capsule configuration and are in discussions on how best to potentially address any concerns at these former sites.

    The study team has visited all three active wings on multiple occasions and visited Vandenberg in fall 2023.  As noted in the Round 1 study report, there were indications of PCB residue in a number of capsules which resulted in discussions about whether all PCBs were removed. The Minuteman System Program Office (SPO) is actively working the issue of PCB residue cleanup where required, and to identify any remaining PCBs inside the acoustical enclosure. The study team is also looking at sampling additional/different locations on the bases based on feedback from current and active crews and maintainers. 

    The team is in the process of working a plan to visit additional missile launch facilities. Although visiting all 450 sites is an impossible task, the team will work with the Minuteman SPO to determine where PCBs were located in the past and if there might be any residual contamination. I reminded Dr Woodard that there were plenty of first-hand reports of PCB spills in the LF as there were in the LCCs.  We addressed the hazardous chemicals used on a regular basis by our maintenance teams and he said the team is aware of those chemicals and are not discounting the impacts.  Exposure to those chemicals should have been documented at the time of exposure and although it is not possible to retroactively document these exposures now, we anticipate that these factors will be taken into account when evaluating any increased cancer risks within the missile community, both past and present.

    We discussed the team’s access to medical records of those who served in the past.  Dr Woodard noted that there are multiple data bases that the team is gaining access to, including the Department of Defense and Veterans Administration electronic medical record systems, DoD and VA cancer registries, National Death Index data, and many state cancer registries.  The epidemiologic study seeks to evaluate rates of cancer among those who served within the missile community, to include missile operators, maintainers, security forces, and facility managers. Both the Veterans Administration and USAFSAM now have websites where you can get the most recent information.  You can find those at https://www.airforcemedicine.af.mil/Resources/Missile-Community-Cancer-Study/ and https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/missileers/

    AAFM will continue to ask questions of the Air Force and the USAFSAM team as we monitor progress.  As mentioned before, if you or a family member are impacted, we encourage you to register at the Torchlight website: https://torchlightinitiative.org/



    James F. Warner

    Executive Director

  • 05 Jan 2024 15:55 | Anonymous

    Fellow Missileers:

    Congratulations to AAFM member Maj Gen Stacy Jo Huser who assumed command of 20 AF this afternoon from now Lt Gen Michael Lutton who is moving to be the AFGSC Deputy Commander.  We look forward to working with Maj Gen Huser and hearing from her at future AAFM events.

    AAFM continues to track the efforts of the study to understand the causes of cancer in missileers.  To us, it is just as important to document and understand the past incidents that affected those that served in the past and ensure they get the proper healthcare from the VA as it is to ensure that our current missileers have a safe work environment.  We will continue to carry this two-fold message forward in any conversation we have with government officials and the media.

    You may have noticed that our December 2023 newsletter never arrived—that is because over the holidays we switched gears and moved to a January, May, and September publication schedule. Our cover is dedicated to Bob Wyckoff, author of several missile related poems including the well-known “Missileer” as well as “Missile Maintainers”, “The Schoolhouse” and “The Ace in the Hole”. This month’s newsletter if full of information on the 2024 National Meeting in Buellton, CA, our scholarship winners, the 2024 Heritage program recipients, Global Challenge 2024, and the first Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force to proudly wear the missile badge. Click here for your digital copy. Hard copies went out in the mail today.

    What’s up at the Wings?

    --  MAF PCB Detection Locations: The link below shows where PCBs have been located in the LCC’s Topside and LCEB’s at all three Missile Wings. PCB Sample Locations  On Dec 20 AFGSC released the Missile Community Cancer Study Round One environmental sampling results. The entire round one results are available at the following link Round One Results.

    -- Minot: Eye in the Sky: Helicopter Squadron Secures Missile Fields from Above. The Minot Daily News ran a great article on the 54th Helicopter Squadron (HS). The article reports on the current mission and the future of the 54th HS. If you were stationed at Minot AFB, it’s interesting to see the local newspaper and what has changed and not changed.

    Want to know more? Minot Daily News on the 54th HS

    -- Malmstrom: New AFGSC ICBM Modernization Director Visits Malmstrom

    Brig. Gen. Colin J. Connor ICBM Modernization Director visited Team Malmstrom during a two-day visit. Connor was joined by Maj. Gen. Ty W. Neuman, AFGSC Director of Strategic Plans, Programs and Requirements, and Col. David S. Miller, AFGSC Director of Logistics and Engineering. The three coordinate and advocate for the funding and requirements for the modernization and recapitalization of strategic nuclear forces, to include the LGM-35 Sentinel missile and MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopters.

    Want Know More? ICBM Director Visits Malmstrom AFB

    -- Kirtland:

    Many of our long time (aka older) AAFM members may not know that Kirtland AFB provides critical support to the ICBM mission. The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center (AFNWC) established on March 31, 2006, is the nuclear-focused center within Air Force Material Command (AFMC) synchronizing all aspects of nuclear materiel management on behalf of the AFMC commander and in direct support of Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC). For example, the Air Force and Northrop Grumman conducted a static fire test of stage 1, of the LGM-35A Sentinel weapon system at Northrop Grumman's facility in Promontory, Utah.  The test results are currently being analyzed by a team of experts from the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center (AFNWC) and Northrop Grumman. Another example is that the 576 Flight Test Squadron (FLTS) is now assigned to the 377 Air Base Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, NM. The 576 FLTS is a geographically separate unit, residing at Vandenberg Space Force Base, CA and is a direct reporting unit to AFGSC.

    Want to Know More? Watch this nifty and short video: AFNWC Sentinel Support

    Thought Piece: Why Hypersonic Missiles’ Greatest Strength Also Makes Them Vulnerable and How Do They Compare with Ballistic Missile Reentry Vehicles?

    A recent report (Vulnerabilities) warns that a wave of emerging weapons such as hypersonic glide vehicles, scramjet cruise missiles, and maneuvering reentry vehicles could evade today’s missile defenses due to their high speed and unpredictable maneuvers. But unique phenomena at hypersonic speeds (Hypersonic Speeds or faster) could also make those weapons easier to detect and track for certain sensors. In May 2023 Ukraine news reported it had shot down a Russian hypersonic missile.  ("This is my work")

    “Hypersonic weapons, the things that make them so dangerous are also what make them so vulnerable,” said Masao Dahlgren, a Missile Defense Project fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies and author (A New Hypersonic Look) on hypersonic missile defense. In comparison, ballistic missile reentry vehicle speeds at the terminal phase can reach approximately 19000 feet per second or close to Mach 17. ( Source)

    Want to know more? Hypersonic Vulnerabilities?



    James F. Warner

    Executive Director

  • 23 Dec 2023 20:16 | Anonymous

    Fellow Missileers:

    As we enter into this holiday weekend, the Association of Air Force Missileers would like to acknowledge and thank our airmen serving the critical mission of deterrence twenty fours hours a day, seven days a week.  While we enjoy the holidays with our families, these dedicated airmen are at their posts.  To all the Defenders, Maintainers, Operators, Facility Managers, and Chefs that are deployed to the field and those in the control centers on base, we thank you for your service.  We have stood in your shoes and understand the sacrifice that goes with the task.

    AAFM member Quentin Thomas wrote the following to recognize your dedication.

     The Gift of Peace

    The season now is Christmas,

    A time of thankful cheer.

    Peace our gift is given,

    Its silence you can hear.


    For way up in the north tier,

    On plains of snowy white.

    Deterrence still is working,

    Each day and through the night.


    While seldom they’re remembered,

    And often times ignored.

    The peace they’ve long provided,

    For decades past and more.


    Through dry heat days of summer,

    And the bitter winters gale.

    The peace on earth defended,

    For years it has prevailed.


    The work of oh so many,

    Throughout these long past years.

    Their standard yet unequaled,

    By all their other peers.


    While children all are nestled,

    So snug and very warm.

    Some troop is there protecting,

    Their life from evils harm.


    It’s quiet on these winter nights,

    The northern lights will shine.

    Another blessed Christmas,

    There’s Peace for all Mankind.



    James F. Warner

    Executive Director

  • 10 Dec 2023 11:45 | Anonymous

    Fellow Missileers:

    Its with great sadness that I share the passing of a fellow missileer and poet, Major (ret) Robert Wyckoff this last weekend in Lompoc, CA. Bob was well known for the poems he wrote including the tribute to our community, "Missileer". We'll have more on Bob in our December newsletter but until then, if you are in the area, the service will be Tuesday, 12 December at 1500 PST at Starbuck Lind, 123 North A Street in Lompoc.



    James F. Warner

    Executive Director

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