'Bumper sticker' comes to life . . . again

  • Published
  • By Col. Michael Fortney
  • 341st Missile Wing commander
Nice job, Malmstrom...

Just another week at a northern tier missile base - blizzard conditions, red roads, 48 hour alerts, 46 sites on diesel, RCII sites, commercial power down on base and most of the missile complex (still down in some areas). Problem is, this is not January, it's spring. Of course spring in Montana isn't always blooming flowers and singing birds; anyone who's been at Malmstrom for any length of time understands all too well that you can't look at a calendar to figure out what the weather will be like.

But I'm not writing to discuss the weather; at least not exclusively. What I saw in our wing's response to the extreme weather of the past several days was nothing short of impressive. Consider the round the clock maintenance group efforts to tackle two dozen priority one power and air related faults at our remote snowed-in launch facilities. Or how about the missile field cops who not only dug their way out of MAFs and onto LFs to strike security situations but helped out maintenance as well performing launcher support building power and environmental system checks when maintenance could not get to sites. And then there were the 40th Helicopter Squadron crews who not only shuttled missile crews to and from the complex, but they served as "M-Vans in the sky" dropping maintenance teams and equipment onto snowed-in sites to tackle Priority One launch facility problems. And all of this activity was made possible by a crack team of Airmen from CE who carefully worked their way around our 14,000 sq/mi missile complex with front end loaders digging paths onto missile sites so our maintainers and cops could do their missions.

And most impressive in all of these hundreds of trips and thousands of miles, was the fact that you did this without accident.

You hear me talk all the time about that little six word "bumper sticker" on our stationary and briefing slides: "Extreme Weapons - Extreme Environment --Extreme Standards." Well, your efforts in the past few days lived up to those words. You kept our weapons ready and secure, in a most extreme environment, and you did it without incident. Well done; I'm proud of you.

Next week we face another test; not as dangerous, but also very important for our Wing and mission. Of course I'm talking about the return of the AFGSC Inspector General and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency Inspection Team. And I know you are ready for this test. That same devotion to mission, professionalism, and adherence to standards that led to our mission successes over the past few days will make next week a good one. You've prepared well for next week's events and I have no doubt the women and men of the 341st will show our visitors what we do: We maintain, operate, secure and support a most extreme weapon system, in a most extreme environment, and we do it to extreme standards.

Again, I'm proud of the great work of the entire team over the past few days; now let's get our game faces on and show our guests what a Montana missile base can do.