SECAF visits Minot Airmen

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson met with Airmen from the 5th Bomb Wing, 91st Missile Wing and community leaders during her first visit as SECAF to Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Sept. 7-8, 2017.

Her visit highlighted the importance of readiness, cost-effective modernization and leading from the front lines. As the only base in the Department of Defense that hosts two-thirds of the nuclear triad: the B-52H Stratofortress and Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, readiness is fundamental for both wings.

“I saw a lot of good things here on the support side, B-52 mission, and missile mission, people are getting after it,” said Wilson. “One of the wonderful things of our Air Force and Airmen [is] if they’re given the skills and ability, they’re passionate about doing things right and focus on mission excellence in what is one of the core missions of the U.S. Air force: nuclear deterrence. That is clear and very strong here, and it’s great to see.”

A critical part of restoring readiness comes from Airmen driven to develop innovative solutions that meet growing challenges, Wilson continued. While she toured several facilities and spoke with Airmen about some of the challenges they face here, she discussed the priority of driving innovation to secure a strong future.

“We figure things out,” said Wilson. “The technical understanding of Airmen and their willingness to look at a problem and think about it in a different way and come up with a solution is really wonderful to watch. I met dozens of [Airmen] who are adding more tools to their toolbox so they can innovate and do things differently and better for the Air Force. My job is to get those rules and regulations that don’t make sense out of the way, or push down to lower levels the ability to wave some of those specific instructions to allow more innovation to take place.”

As the Air Force continues to build upon its core of innovation, Wilson encouraged Airmen at all levels to maintain their steadfast commitment to delivering unmatched capabilities every day despite the challenges we face as a force.

“I think the greatest threat to the Air force right now from my point of view with modernization is what’s happening with the budget,” added Wilson. “We will have a continuing resolution which with enough wiggle room we can manage in a short period of time, but the reality is, if the country goes through sequester again, which we did in 2013, we will cause terrible damage to the service and our ability to defend the country. We are working really closely with congress, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and others to try and make sure we don’t devastate the service by going through sequester. We have to get beyond the budget control act.”

While Wilson works with Congressional leaders to ensure the Air Force remains unmatched as the premier, global airpower, she said the support from the City of Minot has been overwhelmingly positive.

“When I ask Airmen what they like most about Minot, they say the people, which is really good to hear, and it’s the people on base that they are working with, but it’s also the community at large,” said Wilson.

Wilson also talked about the importance of their continued support. From the community point of view, one of the most important things local leaders can do is work together to get through the challenges of Budget Control Act.

“Knowing what a budget sequester and a flat budget can do to this base, it’s important to have the community stand up and support their leaders when they take those votes and do the right thing. If we were to have to operate at last year’s [budget] levels, some of the things needed to be done here, like fixing a firing range, are less likely to happen if Congress doesn’t fix those things.”

With such constant support from the local community, combined with unparalleled excellence from the Airmen of Team Minot, Wilson said she is confident that the security of the nation’s shield rests in good hands.

“You will have the tools you need to do your job,” Wilson said. “We will have great leaders. We will dominate air and space. We will be a modernized force, and prevail against any enemy foolish enough to take on the United States Air Force.”
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.