by Capt. Jeff M. Nagan
Minot Air Force Base public Affairs
2/11/2014 - MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- The
commander of Air Force Global Strike Command toured Minot Air Force
Base, Feb. 3-7, meeting with Airmen of all ranks and familiarizing
himself with the mission during his first visit since taking command in
October of 2013.
Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson and his wife, Nancy, arrived at Minot
immediately following Nuclear Surety Inspections of the 5th Bomb Wing
and 91st Missile Wing, which also recently completed a Nuclear
Operational Readiness Inspection.
"There were pretty spectacular results for both the NSI and NORI,"
Wilson said. "We had a joint oversight team of independent outside
agencies looking at how we do business. Across the board, both wings,
the 91st and the 5th, just did a terrific job. Team Minot crushed it."
Wilson's visit also comes just weeks after reports of a test compromise at Malmstrom AFB.
"This was not a mission problem; this was an integrity problem amongst a
small group of people that didn't uphold our core values," Wilson said.
"A small number violated that integrity, and it caused us all to take a
deep, hard look at how we do business. So we are."
Wilson's visit served as an opportunity to communicate to Airmen and
community leaders about the Force Improvement Program, an AFGSC
initiative to identify potential improvement areas and generate "grass
root" solutions, Wilson said. The program involves four teams of experts
from the operations, maintenance, security and mission support
specialties going to each base to meet with their peers and work with
them to identify challenges in their respective mission areas. Their
recommended solutions will go directly to Wilson.
"The focus is on young company grade officers and [noncommissioned
officers] who are in the business doing the job - they understand it
better than anybody," Wilson said. "Let's take their ideas, let's look
at it, and let's act upon those things."
The team's findings will be part of comprehensive plan on efforts aimed at improving the force, Wilson said.
"The only filter is me," Wilson said. "It's coming from those four
groups, and it's coming direct to me. Those things that I can solve, I'm
going to solve. Those that I can't, I'm taking to our Chief of Staff
and Secretary of the Air Force. Those that they can't solve, we are
taking to the Secretary of Defense."
The goal is to make lasting changes to make the Air Force better for the future, added Wilson.
"Over the last five years since standing up Air Force Global Strike
Command, we have focused on this enterprise," Wilson said. "Those that
came before have done some tremendous things for our Air Force and
nation. We are on a journey, and we are going to continue that journey."
During Wilson's visit, he also highlighted four focus areas, aimed at
improving each AFGSC base, not only impacting operations but also morale
and education, he added.
"We're going to continue to focus on making sure we have a safe, secure
and effective nuclear force," Wilson said. "Air Force Global Strike
Command has two legs of the nuclear triad, the bomber and ICBM legs. We
are going to make sure we are organized, equipped and trained to be able
to do that to a high standard. We cannot take our eye off that ball.
It's too important for our nation."
Every day, more than 1,000 of the 25,000 Airmen within AFGSC are
deployed, Wilson said. It is critical that they are prepared, trained
and equipped to perform that mission. However, the mission also depends
on continuing to strengthen and empower the team, he added.
"We are going to continue the efforts of those before us," Wilson said.
"We have reinvigorated, we strengthened, and now we are going to broaden
and deepen our understanding of the culture as well as empowering those
young Airmen and NCOs to do their job, making sure they understand they
are part of an elite team of professionals."
Wilson's last focus area revolves around "shaping the future." This
requires balancing the fiscal challenges of today with the need to
modernize the Air Force inventory and ensure a trained and ready force,
Wilson said. Equally important is a need to be able to effectively
articulate that to policy makers within the Pentagon and Congress, he
Team Minot, which includes not only both wings, but also the community,
is crucial to continuing MAFB's success, Wilson added. However, he said
he leaves here knowing the mission remains in solid, capable hands.
"What I've seen here in this last week has given me a lot of optimism to
see the people doing the mission, across the spectrum," Wilson said.
"We have some unbelievably dedicated, smart, committed, Airmen
passionate about their business doing some terrific work, 24/7/365."