During his visit last week to Minot AFB, N.D., Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter thanked airmen at the Air Force Global Strike Command installation for their vigilance in keeping the nation safe as part of the US nuclear deterrent force. “What you do here, particularly the nuclear mission, is the bedrock of our security,” said Carter to more than 200 assembled Minot airmen during his Nov. 2 visit, according to a base release. He added, “It is the foundation for everything we do.” Carter received briefings from base leadership and toured the facilities of the 5th Bomb Wing that operates nuclear-capable B-52 bombers and of the 91st Missile Wing that is responsible for 150 of the nation’s Minuteman III ICBMs. “I’ve spent the day learning what you do, appreciating what you do, and being amazed at what you do here. The first thing I want to say is, ‘Thank you,'” said Carter. (Minot report by TSgt. Thomas L. Dow)
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S. The bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.