The Minuteman Work Around

Air Force Global Strike Command boss Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson said he expects Air Force missile crews to be up to full strength by “late spring,” after reports of widespread cheating resulted in the decertification of nearly half of the missileers at Malmstrom AFB, Mont. Speaking during a March 5 hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces panel, Wilson said the command is supplementing missile crews while the investigation continues. Specifically, AFGSC has taken Minuteman III crews from Minot AFB, N.D., and F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., to augment operations at Malmstrom, he said. “We [also] will shift the output coming out of the schoolhouse at Vandenberg [AFB, Calif.],” he said. Although officials initially anticipated Malmstrom-based crews would have to work 10 alert shifts each month, Wilson said the workload has not increased and each crew is still performing about eight alerts a month due to supplemental rotations. Since the scandal broke in mid-January, the command has been able to take best practices and ideas from all its missile wings and put them to work at Malmstrom as the wing gets back to regular operations. “We’re taking the opportunity to make each of the teams better,” Wilson said.