Dempsey Visits Minot

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made his first visit to Minot AFB, N.D., a little over a month after the Air Force relieved 19 of the base’s missile control officers of their authority to control and launch nuclear missiles. According to a June 18 Air Force release, Dempsey wanted to hear directly from airmen about the issues they may encounter at Minot. He said it’s vital that Minot airmen understand how critical their role is in America’s national defense. “I want to make it clear that we are all contributing to the security of the US,” he said at a town hall forum on June 17. All 19 crewmembers were expected to be recertified by the end of the month, announced Air Force leaders in early June. During his visit, Dempsey also toured one of the 91st Missile Wing’s missile alert facilities, met with leaders of both bomber and ICBM forces, and thanked airmen for their service. Dempsey also spoke on a range of topics, during the town hall, including sequestration and sexual harassment. “As our country faces a historic fiscal correction, we are not going to put our nation at risk,” he said. The military’s “No. 1 priority is to defend our nation.” Regarding sexual assault, “don’t tolerate it,” he said. “We can fix this through those who lead.” (Minot report by SrA. Jose L. Hernandez)