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AFGSC leadership visits Malmstrom

Master Sgt. Ashley Fuquay, 341st Operational Medical Readiness Squadron personnel reliability assurance program flight chief, left, explains how the 341st Medical Group manages its PRAP program to Gen. Anthony Cotton, left, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Oct. 27, 2021, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

Master Sgt. Ashley Fuquay, 341st Operational Medical Readiness Squadron personnel reliability assurance program flight chief, left, explains how the 341st Medical Group manages its PRAP program to Gen. Anthony Cotton, left, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Oct. 27, 2021, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. This was Cotton's first base visit since taking command, during which he connected with Airmen and discussed his priorities and lines of effort. (U.S. Air Force photo by Heather Heiney)

Gen. Anthony Cotton, third from left, Air Force Global Strike Command commander and his wife, Marsha, far right, approach a UH-1N Huey helicopter Oct. 26, 2021, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

Gen. Anthony Cotton, third from left, Air Force Global Strike Command commander and his wife, Marsha, far right, approach a UH-1N Huey helicopter Oct. 26, 2021, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. During his visit, Cotton met with Airmen and local civic leaders to answer questions and discuss current issues, toured newly-developed base infrastructure and visited a missile alert facility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elijah Van Zandt)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. --

For their first base visit as Air Force Global Strike Command’s new leadership team, Gen. Anthony Cotton, AFGSC commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Melvina Smith, AFGSC command chief, spent Oct. 25-27 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.

Along with Cotton’s wife, Marsha, and 341st Missile Wing leadership, the group met with Airmen and local civic leaders to answer questions and discuss current issues, toured newly-developed base infrastructure and visited a missile alert facility.

Although there have been many changes and additions to Malmstrom in recent years, Cotton said visiting felt like coming home. He was the base’s commander from May 2010 to August 2011, and commander of 20th Air Force, the 341st Missile Wing’s parent Numbered Air Force, November 2015 to January 2018.

This visit was also Cotton’s first opportunity to share his lines of effort directly with the Airmen carrying out the mission every day. Those LOEs are summed up in the vision statement, “Built on a strong foundation of people, AFGSC will engage with others to accomplish our long-range strike mission and modernize for the future.”

He explained that Global Strike has a strategic-level mission set and that what the Airmen do every day keeps not only existential, but very real adversaries at bay.

“The extended deterrence that you provide in Global Strike Command is seen and felt every day,” Cotton said.

Smith went on to explain that Malmstrom’s Strikers are #AlwaysReady to carry out the mission with its fleet of intercontinental ballistic missiles within 30 minutes of notification.

“You have a global impact,” Smith said. “We can launch an ICBM from any silo half way around the world on target. The ICBM is always ready.”

“The nation sleeps well because they know we’ll be there,” Cotton said. “Our allies know we have their backs; our adversaries sleep with one eye open. You impact the global stage and you’re critical to the mission.”

“Cotton and Smith both emphasized the most critical component to the Global Strike mission is its people and caring for the Airmen is their top priority.

“You are critical to the mission and what you do every single day, it matters,” Smith said.

Cotton ended his remarks by thanking Airmen for everything they do and urging them to defend the constitution saying, “do the mission at hand, take care of business and protect this country.” 

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