HomeNewsArticle Display

Malmstrom welcomes foreign media with tour of missile facilities

Two media members are given a brief of their helicopter transportation by Lt. Col. Kenneth Green, 40th Helicopter Squadron director of operations.

Mr. Takashi Watanabe and Mr. Peter Loewi, reporters from the Asahi Shimbun, a national newspaper in Japan, are given a tour of the 40th Helicopter Squadron by Lt. Col. Kenneth Green, 40th Helicopter Squadron director of operations, on Feb. 16, 2021 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. During their tour of the base the media members were transported to and from a launch facility by helicopter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Elijah Van Zandt)

Mr. Takashi Watanabe and Col. Anita Feugate Opperman, 341st Missile Wing commander, sit at a table and discuess the mission brief before the media tour is conducted.

Mr. Takashi Watanabe and Mr. Peter Loewi, reporters from The Asahi Shimbun, a national newspaper in Japan, meet with Col. Anita Feugate Opperman, 341st Wing commander, for a mission brief on Feb. 16, 2021 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. They visited Malmstrom to report on the ICBM mission and the transition from the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile to the more reliable and cost effective Global Based Stratetic Deterrent. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Elijah Van Zandt)

Missileers lead two journalists through unclassified launch procedures in the event of an intercontinental missile needing to be launched.

Mr. Takashi Watanabe and Mr. Peter Loewi, reporters from The Asahi Shimbun, a national newspaper in Japan, are led through launch procedures inside the missile procedure trainer by 1st Lt. Michael Corbin and 1st Lt. Julia Lupian, 341st Operations Group missileers, on Feb. 16, 2021 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. They followed sets of unclassified procedures during a training exercise to prepare an intercontinental ballistic missile for launch. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Elijah Van Zandt)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Two reporters from The Asahi Shimbun, a national newspaper in Japan, visited Malmstrom Air Force Base on February 12-17 to report on nuclear modernization and specifically, the transition from the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile to a more survivable and cost-effective weapon system: Global Based Strategic Deterrent.

Mr. Takashi Watanabe and Mr. Peter Loewi, reporters from the newspaper, began their tour of the base with a stop at the Malmstrom Museum, providing them the backstory of Malmstrom’s modernization that has led to the current arsenal of Minuteman III ICBMs.

Tuesday morning they were greeted by Col. Anita Feugate Opperman, 341st Missile Wing commander, for a mission brief and to welcome them to the largest missile field in the United States. Feugate Opperman explained the importance of welcoming foreign media to observe the mission at Malmstrom while highlighting the personnel who are on alert for 24 hours a day to keep the arsenal safe, secure and effective.

“Allowing journalists to observe and report on our mission is critical for transparency and demonstrates these powerful weapons are in the most capable hands,” she said. “Ultimately, our success comes down to our incredible Airmen who sacrifice time away from their family and friends to carry out this extremely important mission.”

The media members visited the missile procedure trainer, a simulated training environment for missileers to practice and test their competence while on duty at a missile alert facility. They were also led through a set of unclassified procedures used to prepare an ICBM for launch, including the symbolic step of turning the key to launch the missile.

The visit concluded with a helicopter transportation from the 40th Helicopter Squadron to a launch facility for a tour of the complex and the following day to the missile handling facility to observe the downstage of the missile, commonly referred to as the booster.
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.