Editor’s Note: This is the third of a three-part series on the future of how Air Force Security Forces will guard nuclear missile fields.
The incoming Sentinel features an open system architecture which should allow for easy upgrades as technology develops between now and 2075, the missile’s planned retirement date. It is also designed to be easier to maintain, which should minimize the security forces footprint required during maintenance time.
The facilities where the missiles are housed should also be easier to defend. Today, an underground network of copper wires known as the Hardened Intersite Cable System (HICS) feeds signals back and forth between a missile squadron’s launch facilities and control centers. Airmen use those signals to monitor the missiles for maintenance issues or intrusions at a launch facility, but the old technology can handle only so much data. Over the next few years, F.E. Warren plans to replace HICS with a new network of fiber optic cables that should provide more data at a faster speed.
It will also take time to train everybody up on the new technology and facilities coming to the base, said Col. Deane Konowicz, vice commander of the 20th Air Force, which oversees the missile fields at F.E. Warren, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., and Minot Air Force Base, N.D.
“The number one challenge to training anywhere in the nuclear enterprise is that we have the alert force: day-to-day we are our nation’s deterrent,” he said. “The mission has been continuous since 1963. There is no down day in the missile field, so how do you balance training with keeping that alert force safe, secure, reliable and ready?”
A new facility may make it easier to strike that balance. F.E. Warren will build an integrated training center complete with a mock launch facility where maintainers, defenders, cybersecurity specialists, and missileers can practice running and securing Sentinel without stepping on the toes of an operational facility.
This is a Sources Sought Notice and is for market research purposes only. THIS IS NOT A REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL, QUOTATION OR BID. NO SOLICITATION IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE.
Project Location and Description:
Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) Integrated Training Center (ITC) at F.E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Anticipated value of this action will be $7,750,000.00
Project Period of Performance: Design to construction period of performance is from award through 31 December 2024 (100% design). Follow-on construction contract period of performance will be three years, ending December 2027.
P.O. Box 1767
Monument, CO 80132
The Association of Air Force Missileers
is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.