ICBM enterprise looks forward to 2017

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — It’s that time of year to reflect on the accomplishments of the last year and to make resolutions for the upcoming New Year. Our hopes and dreams from the past motivate and inspire us to be better during the coming year. 

But as time passes, one mission remains the same for the only Air Force weapon system currently on alert 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year…the Minuteman III (MMIII) Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), with its mission of strategic nuclear deterrence. Ever since President Kennedy informed Russia during the Cuban Missile crisis that he had “an ace in the hole,” this weapon system has deterred nuclear aggression from other nations. 

Initially deployed in the early 1960s, MMIII is maintained by a variety of organizations within Air Force Global Strike Command, Air Force Materiel Command and Defense Logistics Agency. We are fortunate to have all the AFMC organizations that support MMIII located here at Hill AFB, including the Ogden Air Logistics Complex’s 309th Missile Maintenance and 748th Supply Chain Management Groups and the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center’s ICBM Systems Directorate. 

This is the most dynamic period in the history of ICBMs. There are three major ongoing movements to better sustain our fleet: 1) Defining the MMIII’s sustainment boundaries through the demarcation process; 2) instituting the first-ever, field-level Programmed Depot Maintenance for MMIII; and 3) developing the new Ground Based Strategic Deterrence ICBM to replace MMIII. 

As I look forward to 2017, there are several hurdles the ICBM enterprise must face, but I know we have the best people and processes to ensure the mission of the ground-based leg of the nuclear Triad continues for decades to come.

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