New START Comes to Minot

The 91st Missile Wing at Minot AFB, N.D., underwent the base’s first on-site nuclear arms inspection under the New START agreement. Given 24 hours notice, the base hosted 10 Russian inspectors on a verification tour of the wing’s Minuteman III ICBMs and launch facilities. “It’s imperative to meet our treaty obligations and Team Minot has done that in a superb fashion, given the ongoing flood recovery,” said Col. Stephen Davis, 91st MW commander. Under the treaty, which entered into force in February, the United States and Russia are permitted both on-site and satellite-reconnaissance verification of treaty compliance. Type-one inspections, such as the Russian visit on Aug. 23, review operational systems, while type-two inspections look at non-operational systems. Minot, home to both ICBMs and nuclear-capable B-52s, is subject to four short-notice, on-site inspections per treaty year. (Minot report by A1C Jose Hernandez)