MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
Even though March is Women’s History Month, the Airmen at Minot Air Force Base break barriers every day.
Team Minot supported equality this month by hosting an all-women’s missile alert.
“The all-women’s alert is a day where all women in missile career fields come together and pull alert from top to bottom,” said 1st Lt. Symantha Fry, 740th Missile Squadron nuclear missiles and operations officer.
For the fourth year in a row, these women led a 24-hour nuclear missile alert in the missile field of North Dakota on March 7, 2019.
Just a few years ago, women in the career field didn’t have the capacity to lead an all-female 24-hour alert.
“There are some captains that would tell you that five or six years ago there weren’t enough females to pull an all-women’s alert and cover all of the missile alert facilities,” said 1st Lt. Hannah Andrick, 741st Missile Squadron nuclear missiles and operations officer.
In the past, women were assigned support roles for missile wings. It wasn’t until the late 1970s and early 1980s that women were allowed to train as missile crew officers. In honor of this all-female alert, each missileer wore a special patch.
“Each year they make new patches,” said Fry. “To signify each of the three intercontinental ballistic missile wings, this year’s patch has three superhero logos with Wonder Woman being first.”
Just as the superheroes represented on the patch may be role models, the missileers say they hope to inspire future generations.
“There are a lot of different theories of why getting young females involved in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math career fields are difficult, but hopefully seeing positive role models of women in our type of work can give them that positive image they need,” said Andrick.
Andrick said, whether or not young females view these women as role models, they are becoming a part of history.
“There’s a lot of beauty in an all-female crew standing together as a part of history to accomplish the mission for the three ICBM wings,” said Andrick.
While the all-women’s alert has included bombers, the submarine counterpart has yet to have the sufficient amount of women in the field to pull off an all-female effort
“I look forward to the future to hopefully have an all-female alert for all three legs of the nuclear triad,” said Andrick.