Deputy SecDef visits Minot

Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter speaks to Airmen at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Nov 2, 2012.  Carter thanked them for their hard and dedicated work. (DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)

Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter speaks to Airmen at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Nov 2, 2012. Carter thanked them for their hard and dedicated work. (DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)

Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter tours a warhead missile maintenance facility at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Nov. 2, 2012. (DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)

Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter tours a warhead missile maintenance facility at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Nov. 2, 2012. (DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)

Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter tours a missile maintenance facility at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Nov. 2, 2012. (DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)

Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter tours a missile maintenance facility at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Nov. 2, 2012. (DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)

Capt. Mike Hostetler, right, shows Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter the cockpit of a B-52 bomber at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Nov. 2, 2012. (DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)

Capt. Mike Hostetler, right, shows Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter the cockpit of a B-52 bomber at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Nov. 2, 2012. (DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. (AFNS) -- The Deputy Secretary of Defense, Dr. Ashton B. Carter, visited Minot Air Force Base here Nov. 2.

Carter came to Minot AFB to be briefed on the base's capabilities and to speak to the Airmen on base.

During Carter's visit, he received briefings on B-52 and intercontinental ballistic missile readiness capabilities at Minot AFB. Leadership from both the 5th Bomb Wing and the 91st Missile Wing showcased the effectiveness of the dual wing mission here.

Following the joint mission briefs, he was taken to the Weapon Storage Area for a tour of the facilities. During the tour, he discussed the importance of ensuring our nuclear capabilities are safe, secure and effective.

Next, he visited the 91st Missile Wing's missile training facilities. These included a training launch facility, a payload transporter and a missile procedures trainer where missile crews demonstrated procedures that they use in the field on a daily basis.

Carter was then taken to a hangar for a tour of a B-52H Stratofortress. He was given a briefing on the strategic deterrence capabilities of the bomber and shown the multiple weapons the aircraft can employ for combat operations.

After the visit to hangar, Carter talked with more than 200 Airmen at the base's Defender Dome to thank them for their service and let them know the importance of their mission.

Speaking to the Airmen in attendance, Carter said, "I've spent the day learning what you do, appreciating what you do and being amazed at what you do here. The first thing I want to say is thank you."

"When you wake up in the morning and you go to bed at night, you know that you are part of something bigger than yourself," he added.

During his discussion with the Airmen, Carter stressed how Minot AFB's role is especially important to the nation's security.

"What you do here, particularly the nuclear mission, is the bedrock of our security. It is what stands in the background and looms over every action this country takes on the world stage," said Carter. "It is the foundation for everything we do."

Following his speech, Carter presented coins to the Airmen to show his appreciation for the hard work and dedication to the mission they show on a daily basis.

"I want you to go home and tell your loved ones that you were thanked by your country for what you do," said Carter.