Manufacturing nuclear deterrence: Rivet MILE

Travis Harris, 583rd Missile Maintenance Squadron shop mechanic, welds two pieces of metal together April 20, 2021 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

Travis Harris, 583rd Missile Maintenance Squadron shop mechanic, welds two pieces of metal together April 20, 2021 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The 583rd MMXS maintainers specialize in maintaining, modifying and manufacturing a wide array of nuclear enterprise equipment and strategic ground support systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lauren O'Connor)


The 583rd Missile Maintenance Squadron, better known as Rivet MILE (Minuteman Integrated Life Expansion), is pivotal in sustaining the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile mission at Malmstrom Air Force Base and across all missile wings in Air Force Global Strike Command.

A geographically separated unit, Rivet MILE supports missile wings by providing weapons system life extension workloads. At Malmstrom, that entails water intrusion mitigation, launcher closure system refurbishments and any major repairs that are outside the scope or capability of 341st Missile Wing personnel.

“Every launch facility or launch command center has specific needs which are addressed through the joint efforts of the 583rd MMXS controllers, 341st MW Integrated Planning Cell, ICBM System Directorate and AFGSC,” said Jason Young, 583rd MMXS director of operations.

The all-civilian team is primarily composed of prior-enlisted ICBM maintainers, equipping them with the systems knowledge and ability to repair or replace nearly every major component of the Minuteman III support system. The team specializes in maintaining, modifying and manufacturing a wide array of nuclear enterprise equipment and strategic ground support systems.

From refurbishing old parts to designing and welding new structures, Rivet MILE maintainers can do it all.

“The most unique thing about the 583rd MMXS is our ability to accomplish any task,” said Ken Hanson, 583rd MMXS depot support agency shop supervisor. “We modernize lateral restraints and dampeners used on the missile suspension system, refurbish launcher closure wheels, repair all support equipment needed to perform depot maintenance, manage a vehicle fleet, and produce launcher closure axels for the 3 GSUs.”

The men and women of Rivet MILE provide direct maintenance and support for the most responsive leg of the nuclear triad; however, modernization is critical to stay ahead of near-peer competitors. With the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent scheduled to phase out the Minuteman III in 2026, Rivet MILE is ready to continue facilitating safe, secure and reliable nuclear deterrence.

“As GBSD comes online, it will require sustainment just like any system does,” said Young. “The conversion period will be the space where we will work with our mission partners to aid in the transition and perform critical maintenance on the facilities to ensure the new system will be ready to field on schedule.

“The 583rd is ready and willing to support the Nuclear Enterprise in whatever capacity necessary and we are excited to be a part of this outstanding community supporting the mission.”

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