AFRC leaders visit F.E. Warren

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  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

The 20th Air Force and the Mighty Ninety hosted members of Air Force Reserve Command this week, offering an inside look to the wing’s daily nuclear deterrence mission.

Brig. Gen. D. Scott Durham, Director of Air, Space, and Information Operations, Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia; Brig. Gen. Dean Sniegowski, vice commander of 10th Air Force, Robins Air Force Base; Col. Shannon Moore and Gabriel Lieber, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration for HQ AFRC, all visited F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, Aug. 22, 2022.

The visit allowed for an immersion into the mission and culture of nuclear deterrence, but it also opened the door to meaningful conversation about the use of reserve personnel as missileers.

While still in the concept stages, there is a hope to leverage available reservists to augment the total missileer force.

“Talks like this help us investigate, learn and understand how a total force integration solution might be possible in helping the entire ICBM mission,” said Col. Mark Richey, Mobilization Assistant to the Twentieth Air Force commander. “We’re very much in concept stages, but this allows us a chance to research the potential for an TFI solution.”

Though the Air Force may be years away from using reservist airmen under certain statuses in nuclear deterrence, there are already Individual Mobilization Augmentee reservists serving as missileers at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., and F.E. Warren, and the efforts to augment the missile mission with reservists has long been a goal of the 20th Air Force.

“There is already proof that it can work, as we already have combat-ready IMAs filling a role in ICBM operations,” said Richey. “There are currently six IMAs serving in support roles at two of the three missile wings.”

When asked about the potential benefits of reserve personnel in supplementing the mission of 20th Air Force personnel, Durham responded back with a question of “why not?”

“If you are trying to execute a mission on a budget – and we all are – and you want more mission capacity, then the reserve or guard component as an augmenting force makes perfect fiscal sense,” said Durham. “The math is on our side. Being able to increase your operable force size by a third, fifty or even 100 percent, just by making a call, and have them there within 72 hours is a game changer.”

During the tour, the visitors participated in a discussion with base senior leadership during a breakfast, traveled to the missile field for tours of a missile alert facility and a launch facility and then came back to base for a visit of the Weapons Storage Area and Weapons Generation Facility under construction.

F.E. Warren frequently hosts distinguished visitors and these visits offer opportunities to discuss topics to innovate strategies that could potentially improve the mission and lives of those conducting it.