Airmen commemorate 50 years of nation's preeminent ICBM fleet

By Senior Airman Daryl Knee | Air Force News | Oct. 7, 2009

F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. -- Members from across the ICBM community arrived here Oct. 7 for a three-day celebration of the 50th anniversary of the ICBM.

"We are proud to host such a historic event and welcome the many ICBM pioneers to join in on our discussions about the future of America's preeminent nuclear deterrence," said Col. Greg Tims, commander of the 90th Missile Wing here. "Together, we remain committed to the highest standards of performance and reliability in the operating, maintaining, supporting and securing the ICBM weapon system, as we have for the last 50 years. "

About 450 ICBM operators, missile maintainers and security forces members from across the Air Force are meeting this week to commemorate 50 years of America's most powerful nuclear deterrent. Attendees include Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley; Gen. Kevin Chilton, commander of U.S. Strategic Command; Gen. C. Robert Kehler, commander of Air Force Space Command; and Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command.

The commemoration began with a brainstorming session, Guardian Sword, where ideas were shared on how to make the strategic-deterrent mission more efficient. That was followed by a "Curtain Raiser" reception.

A four-part symposium is scheduled to take place Oct. 8, and Secretary Donley will give the keynote address at the commemorative dinner that night. Throughout the anniversary, attendees will be able to visit a technology exposition showcasing the many facets of the missile spectrum. A highlight of the celebration will be the presentation to the Air Force of a painting by a local artist which depicts 50 years of ICBMs.

The anniversary celebration will conclude with a memorial service Oct. 9 to honor all deceased missileers.

America's ICBM force is deployed across almost 35,000 square miles of the Great Plains. The missiles are operated, secured, maintained and sustained every minute of the day by almost 10,000 dedicated Airmen.