“Minot Air Force Base is proud to show Gen. Brown and the congressional delegation the innovation and determination of the Airmen who make our critical operations possible every day,” said Col. Michael Walters, 5th Bomb Wing commander.
Brown serves as the senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipping of all active-duty, guard, reserve and civilian forces serving in the U.S. Air Force.
During his visit, Brown had the opportunity to see how the Airmen of Minot AFB have never stopped their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as see how nuclear modernization is a priority for Air Force Global Strike Command.
“The U.S. Air Force has the unique ability to see, sense and strike any target at any time, anywhere in the world,” Brown said. “The roles Team Minot Airmen play in this core mission of the Air Force is critical to generating airpower everyday – not just sometimes at some places, but anytime, anywhere.”
Brown received a tour of a B-52H Stratofortress from Capt. Donovan Carroll, 69th Bomb Squadron weapons and tactics chief, and Maj. Ryan Taylor, 5th Operational Support Squadron wing weapons officer, where he learned about its capability to carry nuclear or precision guided ordinance with worldwide precision.
Brown was then escorted to the weapon storage area, where the 5th Bomb Wing and 91st Missile Wing house and maintain some of their most important assets. It was there Brown was briefed on the AGM-86 Air-Launched Cruise Missile by Master Sgt. Jon Bryant, 705th Munitions Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of missile maintenance. The missile, which can be loaded with conventional or nuclear payloads, is an essential part of the 5th Bomb Wing arsenal.
Afterwards, Brown attended a demonstration and discussion of the new female body armor. The armor, designed specifically to better accommodate the female physique, is one of the many steps the Air Force has taken to provide a more inclusive environment for all Airmen.
“I’m grateful for the feedback Airmen have given us on this new female body armor,” Brown said. “Being a diverse and inclusive force won’t work if we don’t have meaningful, sustainable and lasting change – that change starts with Airmen sharing their perspectives and leaders who listen.”
Near the end of his tour, Brown had the opportunity to visit the 91st Missile Wing’s missile alert and launch facilities where he received briefings on their daily operations and the importance of the intercontinental ballistic missile program.
“It was an honor to have the opportunity to show and discuss the ICBM mission and the incredible Airmen behind that mission with Gen. Brown and the congressional delegation,” said Col. Christopher Menuey, 91st Missile Wing commander.
The Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, or GBSD intercontinental ballistic missile, will replace the LGM-30G Minuteman III, enhancing the accuracy, security and reliability of the nuclear triad.
“By updating the missile portion of the nuclear triad, we ensure a credible, capable and safe nuclear deterrent that provides our Nation and our allies an umbrella of deterrence while discouraging others from use of nuclear weapons,” Brown said. “Modernization of the ICBM program is both strategic and cost-effective.”
On Aug. 31, 2020, Brown published his strategic approach, Accelerate Change or Lose. In it, he highlights the importance of the development of our Airmen as leaders, the need to stay ahead of the long-term strategic competition between rival nations and promoting dignity and fairness in the Air Force culture.
True to Brown’s action orders, Minot AFB Airmen continue to look for ways to bolster and embody Brown’s motto of “Accelerate Change or Lose.”
“We have the opportunity to shape the Air Force for what we need in the future,” Brown said. “There’s a good reason why the Action Orders are bookended with Airmen and Design Implementation – if we empower our Airmen with the right training and resources, they will shape and build the future of our Air Force – the force we need to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.”