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MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Presiding Officer Col. Richard M. Stuckey, 498th Nuclear Systems Wing Commander, passes the ceremonial flag to Col. David Milner Jr., 798th Munitions Maintenance Group Commander, traditionally signifying the assumption of command over the new 798th Munitions Maintenance Group here, Aug. 18. The 798th MUMG standup is an important step toward establishing support for Air Force Global Strike Command, which is the lead major command for Air Force nuclear operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jesse Lopez)
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 Minot Air Force Base, N.D.
New munitions maintenance group stands up at Minot AFB

Posted 8/26/2009   Updated 8/26/2009 Email story   Print story

    


by Senior Airman Wesley Wright
Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs


8/26/2009 - MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- The 798th Munitions Maintenance Group stood up here during an assumption of command ceremony here Aug. 18.

The new group will provide oversight of four maintenance squadrons: the 14th Munitions Squadron at Vandenberg AFB, Calif.; 15th Munitions Squadron at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.; 16th Munitions Squadron at Malmstrom AFB, Mont.; and 17th Munitions Squadron here. The activation and assumption of command for these squadrons will take place later this year.

The 798th MUMG is an important step toward establishing support for Air Force Global Strike Command, which was activated at Barksdale Air Force Base, LA August 7. Air Force Global Strike Command is the lead major command for Air Force nuclear operations.

"This is a big step to reinvigorate the nuclear enterprise in the Air Force," said Col. David Milner Jr., 798th MUMG commander. "The Air Force is sending a signal that nuclear deterrence operations are our number one priority. "

The 798th MUMG will consist of a command element and support staff of approximately 10 to 12 people performing administrative functions. Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, and the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at Kirtland AFB, N.M., will provide major-command-level support to the 798th MUMG and its assigned squadrons.

The 798th MUMG is expected to be officially established this summer. Once complete, the group will assume command of four munitions squadrons: the 14th Munitions Squadron at Vandenberg AFB, Calif.; 15th Munitions Squadron at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.; 16th Munitions Squadron at Malmstrom AFB, Mont.; and 17th Munitions Squadron at Minot AFB, N.D. The activation and assumption of command for these squadrons will take place later this year.

Five bases were surveyed as potential beddown locations for the 798th MUMG: Vandenberg AFB, Calif.; Malmstrom AFB, Mont.; Minot AFB, N.D.; Kirtland AFB, N.M.; and F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo. Minot AFB was selected as the beddown location based on site survey findings in conjunction with input from installation personnel. As required by the National Environmental Protection Act, an environmental impact analysis was also completed.

"We're very much excited to be here," Colonel Milner said. "Putting the group staff here at Minot helps quite a bit because of the dual mission, with the complexity of bombers and missiles. This is where a lot of the action is going to happen."

Approximately 12 people will transfer from the 498th Munitions Maintenance Group headquarters to Whiteman AFB, Mo., the home of the B-2 bomber, to give group leadership important exposure to bomber operations. Additionally, this transfer allows bomber experts to interface with AFNWC and MUMG leadership on a daily basis. Taken with the standup of the 798th MUMG, the Air Force is making critical steps in the integration of all "sustainment" functions within Air Force Materiel Command.

Following the Fall 2008 CORONA Conference, and as part of the ongoing efforts of the Air Force to reinvigorate the nuclear enterprise, the service's Secretary and Chief of Staff issued direction to align all continental United States' weapon storage areas under AFNWC. This realignment provides enhanced oversight and standardization for nuclear weapons maintenance, storage, accountability and control.

For more information about the beddown or transfer, please contact Air Force Materiel Command Public Affairs at 937-257-0046 or AF Nuclear Weapons Center PA at 505-846-5991.



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