Completing Deactivation

After nearly two years and more than 29,000 man hours, members of the 341st Maintenance Group at Malmstrom AFB, Mont., on Aug. 23 completed the maintenance tasks associated with the deactivation of the 564th Missile Squadron. With the US decision, courtesy of the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review, to reduce the nations’ Minuteman III ICBM force by 50 missiles to 450, the unit was picked for deactivation. Although Malmstrom officials held the squadron’s official inactivation ceremony in August 2008, these maintainers actually began the deactivation process in October 2007, which involved pulling the squadron’s 50 missiles and all major equipment from its 50 launch facilities and five missile alert facilities. The remaining step is for inspectors to validate that all of the equipment has been removed from these sites so that they may enter caretaker status by the end of the month. (Malmstrom report by MSgt. Terry Nelson)