Making improvements

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE On Monday morning, several teams will meet at Barksdale AFB, La., to kick off an effort that gives airmen the chance to make improvements in Air Force Global Strike Command, the command that oversees the nuclear enterprise.

As part of the immediate focus, Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, commander of Global Strike Command, said the Force Improvement Program is one of the efforts to make improvements in the intercontinental ballistic missile mission.

Wilson and other nuclear commanders met with high-level Defense Department officials in Washington, D.C., last week to discuss the integrity failure by some missile officers.

The Force Improvement Program was developed as a field-level initiative to draw on the experiences of airmen at all levels.

“We’re going to take four teams an ops team, a maintenance team, a security force team and mission support team and each of those teams are going to be about 10 to 15 people of experts in the field doing the job today,” Wilson told members of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee on Thursday. The group met at the Vegas Motel in Minot.

Minot Air Force Base is the only base with dual nuclear-capable wings the 5th Bomb Wing with B-52s and the 91st Missile Wing with Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles. Both are units of Air Force Global Strike Command.

He said the team members are from across the bases as well as from outside bases. “It’s people within the nuclear enterprise who know how to do the business,” he said. He pointed out it is a

grassroots-level effort.

He said the focus will be on young airmen who are in the business doing their jobs. “Let’s take their ideas, let’s look at it and then let’s act upon those things,” he said.

The teams will report directly to Wilson. They will visit each missile wing this month.

Wilson said he will present a comprehensive plan to the Secretary of the Air Force by the end of the month and to the Secretary of Defense within 30 days after that.

“Those four groups are coming directly to me. Those things that I can solve, I will solve. Those I can’t solve, I will take to our chief of staff and secretary of the Air Force. Those that they can’t solve, we’ll take to the secretary of defense,” he said.

Wilson said he will meet with the teams Monday and they will start traveling Wednesday. They will report to him by the end of the month.

He said the effort is part of a journey. “I think you’ll see some changes come out of this, I think you’ll see some postive changes,” he said.

Wilson also noted during the meeting, “I just want you to know that the feeling is amongst everybody that we have a great force.”

This was Wilson’s first visit to Minot AFB after assuming his new position as commander of Air Force Global Strike Command in October 2013. Before that, he was the 8th Air Force commander.