20th Air Force commander visits Minot AFB

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Saomy Sabournin
  • Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Maj. Gen. Michael Lutton, 20th Air Force commander, accompanied by Command Chief Master Sergeant Charlie Orf, visited Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Oct. 26-28, 2021.

Lutton’s priorities for the 20th Air Force mission range from the safety and surety of the Numbered Air Force’s nuclear weapons to the development and care of Airmen and their families. 

“Our focus as a leadership team is to prepare our Airmen for any situation in which they could be called on to execute [the nation’s nuclear] mission,” said Maj. Gen. Lutton, “First and foremost, that starts with deterrence.”


Integrated Lethality – Enabling the 20th AF Fight

During the visit, Lutton met with members of the 91st Missile Wing who included security forces, missile maintainers, and flight engineers from the 54th Helicopter Squadron discussing first-hand how they work together collectively as a team to maintain a ready and lethal force.

Integrated lethality is one of Lutton’s top priorities in20th Air Force.

“The conduct of warfare is joint and the conduct of warfare is fundamentally about teamwork,” said Lutton. “The more we can talk about integrated lethality, the more we drive up readiness and mission accomplishment.”

Whether it be security forces, operations, or maintenance, Lutton and Orf both emphasized the importance for leaders to understand the roles and issues impacting those defending the United States through combat-ready nuclear forces. With this, the 20th Air Force command team also underscored the need to ensure Airmen understand their role in national deterrence strategy and why they are the key to enabling effective mission execution.


A Safe and Effective Nuclear Deterrent

Additionally, safety is a parallel top priority. When it comes to nuclear operations, surety and improvements in weapons, the mission moves at the speed of safety. Although the Minuteman III is an aging weapons system, it continues to serve as a reliable and effective nuclear deterrent for the U.S., as well as its allies and security partners until replaced by the new ground-based strategic deterrent.

While going through the modernization process, Maj. Gen. Lutton explained how the 20th Air Force will take what it has learned from the Minuteman III and improve upon its replacement, the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent.

“We’ll move at the speed of nuclear surety,” said Maj. Gen. Lutton. “Safety is a precondition for any operation that we do in the 20th Air Force.”


Airmen and Families – Upholding our Nation’s Defense

Maj. Gen. Lutton’s third priority focuses on the development and care of the Airmen and their families. Listening and communicating with the Airmen and their spouses allows leadership to give back to families and ensure that programs and services are constantly evolving.

“They do world-class work for us and the nation, so they deserve a world-class environment to raise and develop their families,” said Lutton. 

As Airmen continue to push forward to adapt to an ever-changing world, they are continuously challenged to incorporate innovation into their daily lives and work toward creating a lethal and more modernized Air Force.

“The Airmen have a valued contribution to the mission of their organization, the mission of the wing, the mission of the numbered Air Force and Global Strike,” said CMSgt. Orf. “If we, as leaders, help our Airmen to understand their value, relevance and purpose, I think we all go a long way in creating a Striker.”