A New Nuke Review

One of USAF’s three ICBM wings just completed an outside review of its operations under a 20th Air Force-directed combat capability evaluation, the first of this new type review that focuses on technical proficiency to conduct the unit’s nuclear mission. The first target of the 10-day CCE was the 91st Missile Wing at Minot AFB, N.D. The wing’s chief of plans and inspections, Lt. Col. Phil Franklin, called the CCE “the most comprehensive inspection we’ve had in several years.” The only public indication of the result is that the inspection team identified 188 professional performers. Col. Chris Ayres, 91st MW commander, called that achievement “unprecedented.” The new evaluation is an outgrowth of USAF’s renewed focus on its nuclear enterprise. In a speech last week in Washington, D.C., Air Force Secretary Michael Donley emphasized, “This [nuclear] mission is too important for the country that we should somehow allow it to degrade or decay through lack of attention.” (Minot report by SrA. Cassandra Jones)