Force Improvement Program to rejuvenate ICBM mission, improve work environment

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Katrina Heikkinen
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
Recommendations were made, voices were heard and changes can already be seen at Malmstrom Air Force Base.

This past February, Force Improvement Program, or FIP, teams visited each missile wing across the Air Force Global Strike Command, conducting peer-to-peer interviews. The aggressive grass-roots feedback program was designed to provide senior Air Force leaders with actionable recommendations for improvement by conducting one-on-one interviews with Airmen. Following the analysis of more than 1,800 survey responses and 835 interviews, more than 350 recommendations were briefed to 20th Air Force and AFGSC leaders, as well as the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

One immediate action prompted by FIP feedback addressed Intercontinental ballistic missile Airmen's needs, resulting in the realignment of $19 million in the Air Force fiscal year 2014 budget, which runs to Oct. 1.

"Our job is to take what Airmen are saying and make it happen," said Col. Tom Wilcox, 341st Missile Wing commander. "The Force Improvement Program is so important because of the foundation of where it came from. It's not the generals; not the colonels or the wing commanders telling everyone what we need; it's the Airmen telling us what we needed."

Implemented changes will be seen among ICBM operations, UH-1N operations, ICBM maintenance, security forces, and mission support. Areas for repair include launch control center refurbishment and infrastructure repairs.

"Some things have already gone into effect - testing for missile crew members is now pass/fail instead of percentage based," Wilcox said. "Around the base, folks should be looking at their shop and how they do their jobs. We don't necessarily have to wait for items; it's not all money-based. A lot of it is procedural-based."

Additionally, 20th Air Force relocated additional quality-of-life funds for Malmstrom.

"The 341st MW has already received $1 million in FIP funding to improve the quality of life at Malmstrom," said Keith Westerbeck, 341st Comptroller Squadron budget officer. "A large range of items specifically for the MAFs include updated kitchen equipment to workout equipment and other items will be making their way out to the MAFs in the near future."

Airmen can expect to see quality of life changes on the base as well, including reopening of the base pool and a resurfaced gym floor.

"The ultimate goal of the FIP is to better the enterprise - the nuclear environment and work environment of the 4,000 people here at Malmstrom and the almost 10,000 people in the ICBM mission," Wilcox said. "For a better work environment and to rejuvenate the mission - I think we're going the right way. We still have to motivate ourselves within to do the mission we're trained for."

For more information on the FIP updates, visit the official AFGSC blog.