History made in honor of Women's History Month

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jessica Weissman
  • Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs

Ninety female missileers made U.S. Air Force history, March 22, 2016 as the first all-female missile alert crews to serve on alert at three intercontinental ballistic missile wings simultaneously.

Based out of Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming and Malmstron AFB, Montana, missileers served on alert during one 24-hour period. The missile alert crew will consist of 90 women at 45 missile alert facilities at the three missile bases, two women per crew.

In addition, B-52 aircrews from Minot AFB and Barksdale AFB, Louisiana participated by fielding all-female flight crews. The B-52 missions included active duty members and reserve components from the 307th Operations Group located at Barksdale AFB. Female members of the 625th Strategic Operations Squadron from Offutt AFB, Nebraska also conducted a test mission above the three ICBM bases.

Participants served on alert and flew missions in honor of Women's History Month.

"The goal of this day was to highlight all the women who worked hard to make a difference in public service and government jobs in the past," said Col. Stacy Huser, 91st Missile Wing OG commander. "We honored those women who have worked to gain opportunities and disavow stereotypes when they began their careers. This day was our tribute to them, as well as to inspire future generations of women to work in public service."

Day to day, missileers maintain a 24-hour alert shift every day of the year to maintain an alert status on our nation's ICBM force. Two missileers are on alert at all times in each of the 45 missile alert facilities and control up to 450 ICBM's as part of America's nuclear deterrence.

The B-52 crews are comprised of two pilots, a weapons officer and an electronic warfare officer. They are responsible for flying the B-52 in all weather conditions, anywhere in the world and are capable of delivering almost any weapon in U.S. inventory.

Due to the diversity of the missileer and B-52 crew populations, both missions are able to be comprised of all female crew and aircrew members within normal scheduling parameters, according to an official release.

In the last 16 years, the number of female officers in the nuclear and missile operations career field has increase from 15.2 percent to 20.2 percent.

"This is not just about how we look. It's about our readiness. It's about our capabilities today and for the future. It's about how we are going to perform as an Air Force...in this very uncertain geopolitical environment," said Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the Air Force.