Tiger teams visiting ICBM bases

Editor’s Note: For more about the Force Improvement Program, see the Military page in today’s edition of The Minot Daily News.

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE Teams called tiger teams are visiting Minot Air Force Base and other intercontinental ballistic missile bases this month as part of Air Force Global Strike Command’s Force Improvement Program.

The visits began April 7 and will continue for a number of days. Malmstrom AFB in Montana and F.E. Warren AFB in Wyoming also are ICBM bases.

The Force Improvement Program has the goal of making substantial and lasting changes to the ICBM mission.

Maj. Kenneth Horton, Force Improvement Program team member from the Air Force Global Strike Command Directorate of Strategic Plans, Programs, Requirements & Assessment, provided information to The Minot Daily News this past week about the tiger teams and their work.

Horton said the tiger teams are made up of members of subject matter experts from Air Force Global Strike Command staff as well as active-duty military and civilians from the ICBM community, some of which were part of the original February ICBM Force Improvement Program effort.

Seven to 10 people are on each team, Horton said.

Explaining why there are seven tiger teams and which bases they will visit, he said, “Many of the recommendations put forth by the FIP team could be grouped into several common themes. Of these themes, seven were identified as the ‘hottest’ issues, and teams were formed to develop implementation plans for these groups of recommendations.”

He said the tiger teams cover the following areas:

– Alternative Crew Tour (Restructuring the crew tour framework to allow for a three-year line tour followed by a three-year instructor/evaluator/wing staff tour, Minot AFB)

– Testing and Evaluation (Implementing test & eval framework appropriate for the ICBM mission, Minot AFB)

– Helicopter Reorganization (Identify appropriate squadron and group alignment for UH-1N personnel, Malmstrom AFB)

– Security Forces “Model Defender” (Equipping security forces’ personnel appropriately to perform nuclear duty, F.E. Warren AFB)

– Maintenance Equipment, Parts, Supplies, and Facilities (Identifying prioritized list of existing shortfalls, Malmstrom AFB)

– Nuclear Duty Incentives (Identify incentives that would boost volunteerism and compensate for unique nuclear duty challenges, F.E. Warren AFB)

– Personnel Reliability Program (Overhaul program structure, Minot AFB)

“The teams will focus primarily on the missile wings. However, a team at Minot will be working on Personnel Reliability Program issues, which impact both bomber and ICBM personnel. Representatives from the B-52 community are included in this team,” Horton said.

He said Maj. Gen. Robert Rego and Maj. Gen. Jack Weinstein head the senior working group that the teams will report to in late April. He said this group is composed of directors at the Air Force Global Strike Command staff, 20 Air Force staff, U.S. Strategic Command staff and missile wing commanders.

Rego is vice commander of Air Force Global Strike Command headquartered at Barksdale AFB, La., and Weinstein is commander of 20th Air Force, with headquarters at F.E. Warren AFB.

In regard to what happens after the tiger teams’ report is presented, Horton said, “It depends on the tiger teams’ findings and recommendations.” He said the appropriate point of contacts will be identified to execute the implementation plans.

“FIP is an ongoing effort. While the recommendations have been approved, implementation will take time, Horton said.