Air Force Adds Funds to Buttress ICBM Operations

The Air Force is reallocating millions of dollars to improve facilities and quality of life for airmen assigned to its ICBM wings in an effort to put its “money where our mouth is” and to demonstrate the importance of the mission, said Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James during a March 27 press conference at the Pentagon. In Fiscal 2014, James said, USAF has $19 million assigned for certain areas within the Force Improvement Program, to include launch control center refurbishment and infrastructure repair. In addition, 20th Air Force has identified an additional $3 million for quality of life requirements. The Air Force’s Fiscal 2015 budget also requests $455 million for sustainment of the service’s Minuteman III squadrons, helicopter support operations, and some “critical communications areas,” she added. The FIP, which was implemented after allegations of widespread cheating surfaced at Malmstrom AFB, Mont., has also singled out some $154 million in additional requirements, in areas such as readiness, training, and launch center improvements. “And what I can tell you is that as we execute our funding in 2014, we’re going to seek to rearrange as much as possible to fund these important programs,” said James. “In other words, we’re not going to wait. We’re going to move forward.” (See also Malmstrom Cheating Investigation Wraps Up.) (James transcript) (AFPS report)