Can you believe its already October! I hope you are enjoying these monthly updates. I also hope you check out our daily "This Day in Missile History" postings on Instagram @afmissileers or on our Facebook page, Association of Air Force Missileers. Here is more on what is happening in the community.
AAFM Regional meeting in Albuquerque:
Just a last-minute reminder that AAFM will host a regional meeting in Albuquerque on Thursday, October 5th at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. We’ll have a Q&A session with Col Kristen Nemish, AFNWC/CV. Activities start at 1730. This is an opportunity to talk with fellow missileers--membership is not required so bring a fellow missileer with you. To help with seating arrangements, please RSVP to Director@AFMissileers.org
Calling all artists:
As part of the 2024 AAFM National Meeting, we will honor the initial class of the Air Force Missileers Hall of Fame. As part of that, we are calling on artists to submit a design for a medallion that will be presented to each inductee. Designs should consider the heritage of those who have worn the missile badge in their design. The winning award will win an Amazon Gift Card and other recognitions. Submit all efforts NLT 28 February 2024 to Director@AFMissileers.org
As part of our upcoming book on Minuteman Artwork, we are seeking pictures of each of the duty uniforms worn by operators and maintainers over the last 60 years from the original white coveralls to the current OCPs for the operators and fatigues, BDUs etc. for the maintainers. Send all photos toDirector@AFMissileers.org and we’ll pick the best representative pictures for the book.
Start making your 2024 travel plans for Buellton:
The AAFM 2024 National meeting will be held at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton, CA 23-27 October 2024. The registration form will go live on our website in the next few weeks as we are still working pricing for a winery tour. The Marriott is ready to take your advance registration now. Click here for the hotel reservation. Please note the room rate varies by night as it is in the middle of the Fall wedding season. More details on the entire schedule will be included in the December newsletter.
Thanks to the generous donation of over 35 patches from the personal collection of AAFM Life Member Col (ret) Darrell Downing, we were able to raise funds over $850 for the scholarship fund. If you have missile related items that you wish to donate for future auction, please reach out to our eBay guru, Monte Watts email@example.com
Do you recognize this item:
AAFM was contacted by an owner of a “Collectibles” store in Arizona regarding the test set pictured here. If you know what system goes with and its purpose, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Change Your Cars Spark Plugs With the Engine Running”
In 2023 the Active-duty Air Force is projected to miss its 2023 recruiting goal by ten percent. The Minuteman ICBM force is on alert 24/7 and requires a steady pipeline of Airmen to keep Minuteman operational and nuclear deterrence credible. Our airmen leave the Air Force or retire and must be replaced!
However, when Sentinel gets closer to deployment, Airmen will still need to be trained in Minuteman security, maintenance, and operations, while also bringing Sentinel into the force. You can say, “Hey we have done this before…For example, Minuteman II to Minuteman III”. However, the difference is that the Sentinel weapon system is completely new and may have different concepts of security, maintenance, and operations. Those concepts are still being developed so we don’t know how it will come out.
Air Force ICBM history is that we have been very successful in upgrading our existing systems, for example MM III/ CDB to MM III/React. Sentinel is not just an upgrade. Sentinel is a new missile, with new technology and operating requirements.
So, the question is how to keep Minuteman III alert ready while bringing Sentinel into the ICBM deterrent force? It’s similar to trying to change the spark plugs on your car while the engine is running or how to change the battery on your Tesla while it is running. It will be a tough job, but it can be done. It can be done with people!
More people and equipment will be required to get through the transition process. Recruiting people for the ICBM force is even more important now than before. The key component of any weapon system is people. Their training and readiness to complete the mission, enhances nuclear deterrence.
You can help by reaching out in your community and share your positive experiences in the Air Force.
Want to know more: Enlisted recruitment pipeline is drying up.
“How Not to Keep Our Missileers from Reenlisting”?
A September 2023 Government Accounting Office (GAO) report found substandard living conditions for our barracks dwellers across all the services. The report titled “MILITARY BARRACKS Poor Living Conditions Undermine Quality of Life and Readiness”. Given the Air Force may not meet the recruiting goals this year, we need to retain every qualified Airmen. For our missileers assigned to our Northern tier bases, it can be especially challenging to maintain morale and readiness. All of us have been barracks dwellers during some point in our service and know the effect that poor living conditions can have on squadrons. The GAO report is an “eye-opener”. Read the Full Report At: Is This the best We Can do for Our Troops?
Just FYI: How Much is an E2 Monthly Gross Pay at FE Warren?
Basic Pay: $2,402.10
Basic Allowance for Housing: $873.00
Basic Allowance for Subsistence: $452.56
Total Monthly Income $3,727.66
Taxable portion: $2,402.10
Untaxable portion: $1,325.56
Lockheed in ‘late-stage’ Talks with Solid-Rocket Motor partner
Lockheed Martin is in “late-stage negotiations” to partner with an unnamed rocket propulsion supplier, according to CEO Jim Taiclet. Defense firms L3Harris and Northrop Grumman own the only major U.S. suppliers of solid rocket motor propulsion systems. “We are endeavoring . . . to create another supplier,” Taiclet said during a House Armed Services Cyber, Information Technologies and Innovation subcommittee hearing Sept. 20. Want to know more: Accelerate Booster Production
AFGSC conducts 13N FAST Field Tests at FE Warren
For decades, missileers have used spreadsheets and localized tracking systems to maintain their schedules. Some of us can remember rooms full of whiteboards and markers strewn across desks as crew schedules were meshed together. Depending upon the problem, one crew member falling off the schedule could create a ripple effect through the entire crew force. The 13N Force Assessment Scheduling Tool, or FAST is a single-source, customizable data platform capable of accessing more than 100 Air Force data systems. It is currently programmed for 13N operational requirements but can be reprogrammed and used to support scheduling requirements for other career fields.
Want to know more: FAST Testing for Wing Scheduling
Malmstrom AFB pilots, Flight Engineers attend First Grey Wolf Type 1 Training
Type 1 Training has started for Grey Wolf Helicopter Operators and Flight Engineers. The Type 1 training, and the rollout of the Grey Wolf, will push the Air Force forward to increase operational capability. Pilots and engineers are training in simulators and reviewing training documents. The transition from UH-1N Huey to Grey Wolf is significant for the advances in speed, range, endurance, payload, and survivability, but it also provides an opportunity to update procedures and tactics used in the missile field for decades to come. Want to know more: Grey Wolf is Moving Forward
James F. Warner