MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
Approximately 30 Airmen from Minot Air Force Base toured Cavalier Air Force Station and Camp Grafton to learn more about their missions June 12-13.
Since Minot AFB hosts two-thirds of the nuclear triad, it is important for Airmen to understand how Cavalier AFS and Camp Grafton play a role in deterrence.
“Our missions correlate with [Minot AFB’s],” said Capt. William Tanner, 10th Space Warning Squadron operations flight commander. “It’s good to exchange knowledge, ideas and experience that all three of our mission sets can benefit from: intercontinental ballistic missile operations, B-52H Stratofortress ops and missile warning.”
With only 40 active duty military members, Cavalier AFS consists of a few buildings, including housing, a recreational building and the Precision Acquisition Radar (PAR) building.
The PAR building houses a large radar capable of detecting anything from giant satellites to space debris. The radar can monitor and track any potential missile launches traveling through parts of the contiguous United States, Alaskan and Canadian airspaces.
Operators stay on duty at all times, monitoring hundreds of objects, said Tanner. When something shows up that isn’t normal or expected, they notify higher headquarters with the information regarding what has appeared.
After the tour at Cavalier AFS, Team Minot Airmen were bussed to Devils Lake for the night to continue the tour at Camp Grafton the following day.
Camp Grafton is an Army National Guard installation equipped with training simulators and large ranges nearby. While there, Minot AFB members participated in expeditionary training such as simulated firing, Humvee rollovers, obstacle courses and live-firing on a range.
Although Team Minot security forces defenders train at Camp Grafton annually, many Airmen outside the career field don’t have the chance to visit and train.
“It was an opportunity for us to understand what it looks like downrange,” said Capt. Brady Rinke, 91st Missile Wing senior intelligence officer. “It’s important to occasionally sharpen some of those skills that may or may not be used by every [job] given the unique mission that we execute at Minot [AFB].”
Participating Team Minot Airmen learned how surrounding units play a role within Minot AFB’s plan for strategic deterrence.
“It’s important for members of Team Minot to go to Camp Grafton and Cavalier [AFS] to understand how other entities operate within the state and how we can support each other,” said Rinke. “We hope to be able to visit again in the future.”