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AAFM Dispatch 03/03 2024

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.

 




Sincerely,

Jim 

James F. Warner

Executive Director

Mailing address:

P.O. Box 1767

Monument, CO 80132

Contact     

The Association of Air Force Missileers

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