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Malmstrom completes Limited Nuclear Surety Inspection

MALMSTROM AFB, Mont. -- Much progress has been made, but you can't stop here was the message from Col. Michael Fortney, 341st Missile Wing commander, at the Limited Nuclear Surety Inspection out brief held Monday. 

"Our Airmen at the 341st MW performed in an exceptional manner during this re-inspection," said Colonel Fortney. "We have been working hard over the last several months, not just to prepare for an inspection, but because we need to make sure we are mission ready every day, and that we maintain that standard of perfection. Clearly, our work doesn't end here because we passed an inspection ... this is just the beginning." 

The LNSI was conducted at the 341st MW from Feb. 4 to 9 by 12 Air Force Space Command inspectors with oversight provided by the Air Force Inspection Agency and U.S. Strategic Command. The reinspection was the result of a Nuclear Surety Inspection in Oct. 2008 that observed deficiencies in the organization. 

"Nuclear Surety Inspections are extremely detailed and demand the absolute highest standards of compliance and accountability. This year, we've made a tough test even more challenging by increasing intensity, depth and rigor of inspections and by directing the IG teams to focus on more consistent application of stringent nuclear standards," said Col. Scott Gilson, AFSPC Inspector General. "This is a solid first step to ensuring our nuclear enterprise remains on track." 

The 341st MW received a satisfactory rating after a five-day inspection, the highest possible rating for a LNSI. There is no margin for error in operations within the nation's nuclear enterprise, according to AFSPC officials. 

Colonel Fortney continued to congratulate all the Airmen on a job well done, but didn't hesitate to point out that this was just the beginning; that we need to shift gears up a little more now, and over the next several months, we'll shift again. 

"I wish I could tell that now we can get back to business as usual, but as you've heard me say many times, business will never again be 'as usual' at a nuclear wing," Colonel Fortney said. "This is the reality of the critical mission we are in and I'm counting on you [Airmen of the 341st MW] to take us to the next level; and I have every confidence in you to do so." 

An NSI is designed to evaluate a unit's readiness to execute nuclear operations and takes place at least every 18 months.
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