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Minuteman Maintenance

Unlike the Atlas and Titan I systems, there are no maintenance personnel at Minuteman launch facilities (LF) and launch control facilities (LCF) (renamed missile alert facilities (MAF) later) except when repairs, replacements or routine maintenance was required.  A single noncommissioned officer, the Facility Manager (FM), oversees the daily operations and routine checks at each LCF/MAF. The FM is assigned to the Operations part of the wing.

The Minuteman Maintenance organization has undergone a number of changes in makeup and terminology over the years.  For most of the period when Minuteman was part of the Strategic Air Command, missile wings were organized in what was called the tri-deputate system, with a colonel Deputy Commander for Operations (DCO or DO), Maintenance (DCM or Chief of Maintenance) and Resource Management (RM), along with a Base Commander or Combat Support Group Commander.  The three or four operations squadrons were part of the DO complex, along with several staff agencies.  The DCM had squadrons that had a variety of names over the years, including the Field Missile Maintenance Squadron, the Organizational Missile Maintenance Squadron, the Munitions Maintenance Squadron (unless it was part of a bomb wing on the same base), a Missile Maintenance Squadron, and other titles.  The DCM also had several staff functions, including Maintenance Control, Quality Control and Evaluation, Maintenance Training and others.  The RM complex included Transportation and Supply Squadrons, along with other functions.  The Base Commander had a Civil Engineering Squadron and a Communications Squadron that maintained systems in the missile wing.

Since the 1990s, the deputy commanders have been replaced by group commanders, with maintenance under the Maintenance Group.  During a short period, the group was called the Logistics Group.  The Maintenance Group has all the functions that were previously under the DCM, and the squadron alignment has changed over the years.  Currently there are two maintenance squadrons and a munitions squadron, ekcept where the munitions function is under a bomb wing munitions maintenance squadron.   

The missile wing maintenance organization operates from the main support base, with missile maintenance, missile facilities, missile handling, electromechanical and other specialized teams dispatch to specific LFs to perform maintenance at the unmanned silos. Each team is accompanied by security police teams who provides security and assists in access to the secure underground sites.  Teams travel in a variety of special purpose vehicles from modified pickup trucks to large vans or transporter erectors to and from the sites.  Teams normally return to the base at the end of the day, but had the capability to remain over night (RON) at a nearby LCF/MAF if work is not completed but the team needs to enter rest status.  The LCF/MAFs had several bedrooms, a dining area with cooks (now called chefs) and recreation areas and television.

The maintenance force for Minuteman in the early days was small compared to the Atlas an Titan squadrons - it took almost as many maintainers to maintain nine to twelve of the early liquid system missiles as it takes to maintain a wing of 150 Minuteman.   As Minuteman III has matured and undergone numerous improvements, the size of the maintenance force in each wing has also decreased, since Minuteman is an extremely reliable system.     

Mailing address:

P.O. Box 1767

Monument, CO 80132


The Association of Air Force Missileers

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