The Defense Science Board’s permanent task force on nuclear weapons surety visited F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., last month as part of its ongoing review of the Air Force nuclear enterprise. The task force is making stops at Air Force nuclear installations at the request of the Defense Secretary to complete an independent assessment of the service’s nuclear operations, according to a Sept. 28 F.E. Warren release. During the task force’s Sept. 19-21 visit to the base, the members met with senior leadership of the 90th Missile Wing, which operates one-third of the Air Force’s Minuteman ICBMs. They also observed a 90th Operations Group briefing and mission planning session, toured the base’s weapons storage area, and met with the leadership of 20th Air Force, which oversees the entire Minuteman III force. Retired Gen. Larry Welch, former Chief of Staff, who heads the task force, credited the base’s airmen for their contributions in deterring foreign nuclear threats. He also said he’s pleased with the longevity of the missiles. “They’ve lasted longer than anybody thought they would,” he said. (F.E. Warren report by A1C Jason Wiese)
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.