Malmstrom completes first ICBM programmed depot maintenance

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- The 583rd Missile Maintenance Squadron, part of Air Force Materiel Command, completed programmed depot maintenance on a launch facility at Malmstrom, a first-ever for the intercontinental ballistic missile weapons system.

Depot maintenance is a comprehensive level of preventative maintenance consisting of a complete overhaul of parts in order to ensure equipment conditions meet military standards.

The nuclear enterprise has been focusing on being proactive with issues using predictive failure analysis and weapon system health measures. The PDM spans two major commands, requiring cooperation between AFMC and Air Force Global Strike Command.

The maintenance began with removal of the missile from the LF by a missile maintenance team from the 341st Missile Maintenance Squadron. The LF was then turned over to the 583rd MMXS, formerly known as Rivet Mile, for maintenance.

“It is a lot of work to ensure the sustainability of an LF for the ground base strategic deterrent,” said Jason Young, 583rd MMXS general manager. “The teamwork between stakeholders at all levels has allowed us to gain a head start and accomplish a lot more work.”

According to Northrop Grumman, GBSD is a follow-on system to the current Minuteman III designed to incorporate emerging strategic missile technologies to increase performance, security, and nuclear safety and surety while reducing life cycle costs and modernizing the infrastructure.

Various renovations were conducted at the LF during the PDM, including ensuring door apparatuses were securely latched and lubricated, removing corrosion from the silo and upgrading the launcher closure system. The entire process took approximately two months to complete and the LF will be turned back over to the wing by the end of the month.

Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, AFMC commander, visited Malmstrom to view the completed maintenance and speak with members from the 583rd MMXS.

“My main reason for coming here was to thank those great Americans, those men and women who are working for (AFMC), for the tremendous work they have done over the last couple of years and bringing the first PDM and subsequent ones to success,” Pawlikowski said. “It is enabling us to do a much better job of supporting (AFGSC Commander) General Rand and the ICBM warriors here on the base.”

ICBM launch facilities have not undergone full PDM since their activation in 1962. The remaining LFs are scheduled to undergo PDM through an eight-year cycle.

“This was a combined effort between multiple agencies,” said Staff Sgt. Maxwell Corall, 341st MMXS missile maintenance team chief, whose team will be replacing the missile now that the PDM is complete. “It will be exciting to see the LF completely redone and for my team and I to become a part of history.”