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Goldfein stands watch with Airmen at F.E. Warren AFB

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein discusses the fire-team’s ability to provide security to an ICBM launch facility with Airmen from the 90th Missile Security Forces Squadron during a familiarization tour in the 90th Missile Wing missile complex, Dec. 19, 2016. The LF portion of his tour provided insight into how the fire-team operates and how maintainers get into the missile silo to perform maintenance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein discusses the fire team’s ability to provide security to an ICBM launch facility with Airmen from the 90th Missile Security Forces Squadron during a familiarization tour in the 90th Missile Wing missile complex Dec. 19, 2016. The LF portion of his tour provided insight into how the fire team operates and how maintainers get into the missile silo to perform maintenance. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein receives a tour of the launch control center from 1st. Lt. Ashley Mirsky, 319th Missile Squadron missile combat crew commander, and 2nd Lt. Marie Blair, 319th MS deputy missile combat crew commander, during a familiarization tour at a missile alert facility in the 90th Missile Wing missile complex, Dec. 19, 2016.  When directed by the U.S. President, a properly conducted key turn sends a "launch vote" to any number of Minuteman III ICBMs in a missileer's squadron. Two different launch votes are required to enable a launch. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein receives a tour of the launch control center from 1st. Lt. Ashley Mirsky and 2nd Lt. Marie Blair during a familiarization tour at a missile alert facility in the 90th Missile Wing missile complex Dec. 19, 2016. When directed by the U.S. president, a properly conducted key turn sends a "launch vote" to any number of Minuteman III ICBMs in a missileer's squadron. Two different launch votes are required to enable a launch. Mirsky is the 319th MS missile combat crew commander and Blair is the 319th MS deputy missile combat crew commander. (U.S. Air Force photo /Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)

F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. (AFNS) --

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein visited Airmen at a missile alert facility in the F.E. Warren Air Force Base missile complex Dec. 19-20.
 
Airmen stand watch 24/7, ensuring the nation’s nuclear deterrence capability is equipped and ready at a moment’s notice. The men and women who operate, protect and maintain the 150 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles stay at one of 15 missile alert facilities (MAF) when they deploy to the field.
 
“The globe is not getting any safer, and I believe the nuclear enterprise supports all military operations and all courses of diplomacy on the planet,” Goldfein said. “When I describe what the Air Force does for the nation, I start with a safe and reliable nuclear deterrent and work my way out from there. We provide deterrence and then we defend the homeland.”
 
Goldfein received a tour of the MAF and spoke with Airmen about their unique role in the mission. He also visited the launch control center and spoke to missileers who remain underground for 24 hours at a time, operating the ICBMs.
 
“We demonstrated our day-to-day operations such as targeting, launching procedures and communicating with other capsules,” said 1st Lt. Ashley Mirsky, the 319th Missile Squadron missile combat crew commander. “General Goldfein is one of the missileers’ biggest advocates out here in the missile field. His desire to tour our MAF really shows his effort to make things better and improve our mission capability.”
 
Goldfein stayed the night at the MAF and ate breakfast prepared by a missile chef.
 
“Having General Goldfein visit my MAF was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Staff Sgt. Kurtis Wimberly, the 319th MS facility manager. “Having him get this firsthand experience here at the MAF demonstrates his priorities as the new Air Force chief of staff.”
 
The following morning, members of the 90th Missile Security Forces Squadron demonstrated the fire team’s ability to provide security to a nearby ICBM launch facility.
 
At the end of the tour, a UH-1N Huey from the 37th Helicopter Squadron flew Goldfein out of the missile field. The ride gave him one last glimpse of the ICBM mission, showcasing the overlapping security measures which are in place to protect America’s assets.
 
This visit highlighted that the nuclear deterrence mission remains a top priority for the Air Force. Our story always starts with this mission, Goldfein said.
 
The men and women on the front lines of the ICBM mission are dedicated professionals, and Goldfein emphasized that the American people can sleep well at night because the 90th MW is standing watch.