HomeNewsFeaturesDisplay

15 MAFs in 15 days

Capt. Bill Mesaeh, a 341st Missile Wing chaplain, takes a photo with Airmen at a Missile Alert Facility May 12, 2020, near Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.

Capt. Bill Mesaeh, a 341st Missile Wing chaplain, takes a photo with Airmen at a Missile Alert Facility May 12, 2020, near Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. Mesaeh began his 15-night stay at 15 Missile Alert Facilities on May 6. (Courtesy photo)

Capt. Bill Mesaeh, left, a 341st Missile Wing chaplain, poses for a photo with Staff Sgt. Alex Hubbard, 10th Missile Squadron facility manager, at a Missile Alert Facility May 14, 2020, near Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.

Capt. Bill Mesaeh, left, a 341st Missile Wing chaplain, poses for a photo with Staff Sgt. Alex Hubbard, 10th Missile Squadron facility manager, at a Missile Alert Facility May 14, 2020, near Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. Mesaeh stayed 15 nights at 15 MAFs across Montana to spend time with missile field deployers. (Courtesy photo)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- While COVID-19 has created challenges in usual routines, one Malmstrom chaplain decided to adjust his schedule to support the needs of Airmen in the field.

Capt. Bill Mesaeh, a 341st Missile Wing chaplain, began his 15-night stay at 15 Missile Alert Facilities on May 6.

After teleworking as efficiently as he could, Mesaeh soon realized teleworking as a chaplain was difficult, if not impossible, to do properly.

“It was starting to bother me that I couldn’t be around my Airmen,” Mesaeh said. “So I decided to talk to my leadership about letting me go into disciplined self-isolation for 14 days.”

Disciplined self-isolation, or DSI, uses advanced social distancing measures and limited restriction of movement, primarily in one’s home, to prepare for their scheduled deployment to a missile alert facility. Currently, all missile field deployers must undergo DSI for 14 days before beginning their field tour.

While isolating himself for two weeks, Mesaeh planned his trip and how he was going to devote the next 15 days spending time with Airmen in the field.

“The typical day has been playing cards in the lounge area, eating downstairs each evening with the missileers in the capsule, watching movies in the lounge and playing videos games,” Mesaeh said.”

Mesaeh also brought his personal smoker with him and the First Sergeant’s Association provided Mesaeh with pork shoulders to provide smoked pork for the Airmen.

"My whole point for coming out here was to let them know that if they have to pack up and be away from their families for a couple of weeks, their chaplain is willing to do it too," Mesaeh said. “You’re not alone out there, and if you have to make the sacrifice, as difficult as it is, you should know you’re not making it alone.”

Additionally, Mesaeh said his visits to the MAFs could not have been done without his chaplain team taking on a significant workload to free up time for Mesaeh to go to the field.

“In my background as a chaplain, we look at ourselves as shepherds,” Mesaeh said. “We often use the phrase ‘shepherds are supposed to smell like sheep’.”

Mesaeh said one of his favorite words is hope and he likes to think he is providing Airmen with a little additional morale to get through these tough times.

“Even if this is difficult for you, you’re not forgotten and there is an end in sight.”
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.