Ten of 19 missile crew members from the 91st Operations Group at Minot AFB, N.D., have returned to duty after completing recertification training, according to Air Force Global Strike Command officials. The remaining crew members are expected to complete their recertification this month, states a June 4 AFGSC release. Commanders benched these missile operators after the 91st Missile Wing earned a “marginal” rating in one of 22 areas covered during a consolidated unit inspection in March. The inspection revealed shortfalls and an attitude of complacency among a “small number of officers,” prompting their decertification and retraining, according to the release. Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh already had directed RAND to take a 90-day look at workplace stressors for the ICBM crews. Though the RAND study has not yet been released, 20th Air Force, which oversees the Air Force’s Minuteman III wings, has started implementing some of its suggestions. Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, 20th AF commander, said the organization has launched an effort called “Professional Actions: Mitigating Stressors on America’s ICBM Team” that aims to improve communication, empower leaders, and take better care of these airmen. (Barksdale report by Kate Blais)
These are the complete remarks by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the Reagan National Defense Forum, Dec. 3, 2022, in Simi Valley, Calif.