VCSAF visits Malmstrom AFB, sees accelerating change

  • Published
  • By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Malmstrom Air Force Base welcomed Gen. David Allvin during his first visit to the field as the Air Force’s vice chief of staff, Jan. 29.

The visit provided Allvin the opportunity to meet with — and personally recognize — the 341st Missile Wing’s Total Force Airmen who support, safeguard and execute the nation’s long-range precision nuclear strike capability.

“Malmstrom is home to world-class Airmen whose competence and professionalism sustain our most critical undertaking as a service—nuclear deterrence,” Allvin said. “Their laser-focused commitment to upholding the exacting standards our nation expects of our nuclear force is truly awe inspiring. They execute a no-fail mission and it’s clear that Malmstrom’s Airmen get that. Watching them in action has been an energizing experience.”

During his visit, Allvin spoke with Airmen from across the 341st Missile Wing including members of the wing’s cross-functional innovation panel, Wing Operations Center, Wing Staff Agency, 40th Helicopter Squadron, Security Forces and remote Launch Facility and Control Center.

“Wing One was honored to welcome Gen. Allvin, who specifically chose to visit Malmstrom as his first (official visit) as the vice chief of staff of the Air Force,” said Col. Anita Feugate Opperman, 341st Missile Wing commander. “He took this opportunity to recognize and thank our Airmen, who ensured our mission continued uninterrupted despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, and further, to broaden his understanding of the nuclear enterprise.”

Throughout his visit, Allvin was able to assess and reemphasize how Airmen at Malmstrom AFB are supporting the Chief of Staff’s Action Orders to Accelerate Change across the Air Force.

“It’s evident that Airmen at all ranks here at Malmstrom are stepping up to their charge, embracing empowered problem-solving, delivering unique solutions and making smart recommendations and decisions,” Allvin said. “(Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr.) has made it clear that our competition won’t wait, and Malmstrom’s Airmen are clearly leaning forward. That’s exactly what we need.”

The visit also allowed Allvin to preview Malmstrom AFB’s significant role in the department’s modernization efforts, including the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent intercontinental ballistic missile program and future MH-139 Grey Wolf basing.

Malmstrom AFB is slated as the second installation to begin GBSD military construction activities in the mid-2020s to replace the nation’s aging Minuteman III missiles, which first became operational in 1970. The GBSD program advances the nation’s ability to maintain a robust, flexible, tailorable and responsive strategic nuclear deterrent to meet current and evolving global threats.

“Our nuclear force represents our nation’s insurance policy; no capability has done more to preserve the peace between great nations,” Allvin said. “This has never been more important. Maintaining the credibility of our nuclear force is key to preserving deterrence as we enter an era of increased Great Power Competition.”

As part of the modernization effort, Malmstrom AFB’s 40th HS will soon begin replacing its aging fleet of UH-1N Hueys with the new MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopter. The Grey Wolf will greatly enhance the wing’s ability to access Malmstrom AFB’s 13,800 square-mile missile complex, providing a responsive force-multiplier in day-to-day security of the no-fail mission.

“The modernization of both our missile and helicopter fleets increases Malmstrom’s capacity and responsiveness to provide the combat capability required to support deterrence,” Feugate Opperman said. “I am so proud of our Airmen who ensure the ICBM enterprise remains safe, secure, reliable and ready to defend the nation and our allies.”

Allvin agreed.

“It’s impossible to walk away from Malmstrom without deep respect for what our Airmen make possible. They and their families sacrifice a lot to ensure we are prepared to defend our nation,” Allvin said. “While they accomplish incredible things today, what really excites me is where they are leading our nuclear enterprise next.”

Allvin added, “Our security environment is more dynamic, more lethal and more competitive than it’s been in decades and it will only grow increasingly so. To compete, our service must evolve to be even more agile and responsive then we are today. Malmstrom’s Airmen are leading the way to accelerate change in our nuclear enterprise and keep us razor sharp in a mission of incredible consequence to the American people and our Allies around the globe.”