All-Female Nuclear Alert

The Air Force’s nuclear missile alert force was operated entirely by women on March 22 in honor of Women’s History Month. Missile crews at Air Force Global Strike Command’s three missile bases consisted entirely of women, with all-female B-52 aircrews from Minot AFB, N.D., and Barksdale AFB, La., and all-female operators from Offutt AFB, Neb., on alert as well, the Great Falls Tribune reported. “I’m really excited,” Malmstrom deputy crew commander 2nd Lt. Alexandra Rea told the Tribune. “It’s awesome to think about how far we’ve come as an Air Force and a country.” The crews at Malmstrom wore a special patch, with an image of Rosie the Riveter and the slogan, “We put the ‘Miss’ in ‘Missileer’” to mark the occasion. “The fact that we can look across our pre-departure briefing room and see a woman sitting in every seat, for every combat crew going out on nuclear alert, is in itself significant, not because team Malmstrom is fielding an all-women alert force, but because we have enough women filling combat leadership roles to take alert for the entire wing,” Col. Tom Wilcox, 341st Missile Wing commander, told the paper.