Members of the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Mont., received a perfect score during their most recent limited nuclear surety inspection, announced Air Force Global Strike Command. The inspectors, “found zero errors or deficiencies throughout the multiple evaluation scenarios, special interest items, and formal assessments,” states the command’s Oct. 24 release. The inspection teams visited Malmstrom Oct. 21-24. Col. Robert Stanley, 341st MW commander, said he was “extremely proud” of his airmen. “We came into this inspection with something to prove, and our people are walking out with a perfect score and their heads held high,” he said. This inspection took place some two months after the wing failed its previous inspection and in the same week that media outlets reported on an incident at Malmstrom in which two ICBM launch control officers violated blast-door safety procedures, receiving non-judicial punishment. Each year, airmen controlling the nation’s 450 Minuteman III ICBMs stand more than 16,000 24-hour alerts, AFGSC spokesman Lt. Col. John Sheets told the Daily Report. Yet, there has been only this incident at Malmstrom, along with a similar reported violation at Minot AFB, N.D., this year, he said in providing context.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.