72-Hour Alerts Coming Soon:

Air Force Space Command is revamping its missile alert operations, and missileers will begin serving 72-hour alerts beginning next month. The missileers will serve in three-person teams, with one officer remaining topside in the missile alert facility and two manning the secure launch capsule. Maj. Gen. Thomas Deppe, commander of 20th Air Force at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., approved the change in January after a three month trial period that involved one squadron from each missile wing. Col. Michael Vaughn, director of operations (or A3) for 20th Air Force at Warren, told Air Force Magazine this week that the change will save roughly two million driven miles per year—cutting two thirds of the miles driven compared to the current 24-hour alerts. This will improve safety and reduce fuel and maintenance expenses to the tune of nearly $400,000 per year. There may also be manpower savings down the road, but these did not factor in the decision to move forward with the change.