Missile Wings, Badges Return

Gen. Michael Moseley, Chief of Staff, announced June 6 the return of the missile badge with operations designator for ICBM crews. Further, USAF’s three Minuteman III ballistic missile wings, which were redesignated as space wings in 1997, will revert to missile wings, Moseley said during the dedication ceremony for the Peacekeeper missile at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. “The re-establishment of the operations badge to missile professionals speaks to the absolute importance of the strategic nuclear mission,” he said. “We are committed to the ICBM mission and to re-enforcing excellence in the Air Force nuclear community.” Air Force Space Command, which oversees the ICBM units, curtailed use of the “Pocket Rocket,” replacing it with a single all-encompassing Space Badge in 2005. At the time, AFSPC leaders likened the change to one badge for all space professionals as similar to the wings worn by pilots, whether they fly fighters, bombers, or mobility aircraft. It was criticism levied at the Air Force leadership by Defense Secretary Robert Gates for allowing stewardship of the nuclear mission to lapse that prompted, in large part, last week’s resignations by Moseley and Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne. (Wright-Patterson report by Ed White)