Defenders stand guard despite arctic conditions

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Elijah Van Zandt
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
Dangerously cold weather conditions haven’t stopped the 341st Security Forces Squadron from fulfilling their critically important mission, 24/7 installation support, in weather conditions dropping to a low of negative 30 degrees.

The defenders of the 341st SFS are the first line of defense to Malmstrom’s critical intercontinental ballistic missile mission, which is one crucial leg of the nuclear triad and acts as a global nuclear deterrence against world adversaries.

Defenders authenticate credentials for individuals entering the base and act as law enforcement experts to sustain the health and safety of personnel living and working on the installation every day.

According to Airman 1st Class Jillian Walden, 341st SFS defender, when weather conditions put the squadron into difficult situations, teamwork and resilience are what get the mission accomplished.

“We have to rely on each other to get the job done as a squadron, especially during these extremely cold days,” she said. “We all lean on each other, because we know the mission is too important for the cold to stop us from getting the job done.”

Walden also said the Malmstrom community came together this week to provide hot drinks to the defenders at all hours of the day, providing coffee and hot chocolate as they entered and exited the base.

“We definitely received our fair share of hot drinks this week, which we really appreciated,” she said.

Defenders at the gate are not only scanning badges and providing security, but are largely the first point of contact the base has with the Great Falls community and personnel heading to their daily work-place.

“They are the first impression to anyone who comes through the gates of Malmstrom Air Force Base, so when people see them working this hard, especially when it's this cold, it means something special,” said Master Sgt. William Taulbee, 341st SFS flight chief.

“What they do here at the gate day-in and day-out is extremely important and there is always another defender willing to step up to assist when it is needed,” he continued.