That’s All for the 564th, High-Level Visit

Past and present airmen gathered at Malmstrom AFB, Mont., for the Aug. 16 inactivation ceremony marking the formal end to the 564th Missile Squadron. The unit had pulled its last Minuteman III ICBM from its silo last month, capping a year-long effort. The Great Falls Tribune reports that Col. Michael Fortney, commander of the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom, called it “a great Air Force day, but also a bittersweet day,” noting it was a day of farewells for many airmen and a “day to be proud and reflect on what they’ve accomplished.” Officiating at the ceremony was Maj. Gen. Roger Burg, 20th Air Force commander, who presented the squadron an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. The Tribune reports, too, that the last 564th MS commander, Lt. Col. Wayne Shaw, said of his airmen, “You weren’t content to just fade away.” Meanwhile, as a means to offset the loss of the 564th, the Montana Congressional delegation earlier floated a proposal for the Air Force to form a new associate arrangement for the Montana Air National Guard that would bring in more active duty airmen to Malmstrom. At the request of Sen. Max Baucus (D) and Sen. Jon Tester (D), acting Air Force Secretary Michael Donley plans to visit Malmstrom later this week.