Air Force missileer hits ‘400 Club’ major career milestone

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Lee Payne
  • 341st Operations Group

In an Air Force career, we share many milestones to include promotions, awards, changes of station, and retirements, but there are many milestones that are unique to the mission of one’s base. 

One of those unique milestones happened on February 5, 2024 for Capt. James Flannigan, member of the 341st Operations Support Squadron, who completed his 400th shift on alert as a missileer.

This feat is not shared by many missileers, who have been in service since the first intercontinental ballistic missile came on alert in 1959.  To put this into perspective, I have found only found seven missileers in the last 15 years who have achieved the 400-alert milestone. 

This month, one of our own joined the elite few.

Flannigan has experienced numerous challenges while on the course to obtain this achievement:  he has been in the field for countless holidays away from family; he has overcome the dynamic situation of pulling alerts during the COVID-19 pandemic; and he has worked tirelessly to maintain the fastest global strike capability in the United States’ arsenal. 

Flannigan leads the 341st Missile Wing’s personnel in the field as we continuously defend our nation with combat-ready Airmen and ICBMs.  He is a force multiplier, developing missileers to walk in his footsteps by instructing them and making them the combat force we deliver to the United States Strategic Command.

Flannigan has worked shoulder-to-shoulder over those 400 alerts with maintainers, defenders, force support members, facility managers, and his fellow operators to provide the president of the United States with 9,600 hours of nuclear combat capability to protect Americans.

His work, along with the work of the men and women at Malmstrom Air Force Base, make our adversaries think twice before moving against the United States, our allies, and our interests around the world.  

Thank you, Capt. Flannigan, for enhancing the combat capability of the 341st Missile Wing.