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20th Air Force Emblem

The Twentieth Air Force ICBM Center of Excellence was formally deactivated 22 Feb. 2019.

ICE traces its history to the ICBM Maintenance Schoolhouse, started in 1968 by the ICBM Logistics Division, 3901st Strategic Missile Evaluation Schoolhouse at Vandenberg AFB in California.  The original purpose of the school was to teach standardized evaluation techniques.  In 2001, the organization became the ICBM Center of Excellence, creating a strong cadre of evaluators to return the focus to Nuclear Standards and ICBM Fundamentals.  They later added instructor training and expanded its cadre and students to include operations and security forces.  In 2004, the school was renamed the "Colonel Wayne E. DeRue ICBM Center of Excellence" to honor Colonel DeRue's commitment to standardizing Air Force ICBM training and evaluation.


The ICBM Center of Excellence focused on developing highly skilled nuclear professionals to execute lethal, safe and sure nuclear strike operations.
Every year, the school graduated over 300 enlisted and officer professionals who are tactical experts, instructors, evaluators, and leaders of Airmen. The ICE provided standardized instructor and evaluator training programs that comply with Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) regulations and instructions.  It also provided various cross-functional, integrated professional development opportunities. ICE courses allowed 20 AF personnel from operations, maintenance, and security forces disciplines to better understand the complex, nuanced nuclear mission they execute. 

Instructors and Staff

ICE instructors were handpicked launch officers, maintainers and security forces personnel who have demonstrated and maintained the highest levels of professionalism, technical expertise and leadership during years of duty at Wing-level.  Besides being among the best and the brightest of the missile community, staff members received training in the most current aspects of adult professional education.


ICE students had years of technical weapon system experience before being eligible to attend the school's courses. This rich experience allowed students to effectively participate in classroom discussions and projects.  This peer-to-peer cross talk also created lasting professional bonds, providing students with future contacts at other Wings and contributes to the ICE mission of creating a culture of standards and professionalism across the ICBM community.  Finally, Airmen could take advantage of the ICE's affiliation with the Community College of the Air Force to earn credits toward an associate's degree. 

(Current as of March 2019)