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91st Missile Wing Dominates with Colonel Lee. R. Williams Memorial Award

Rise & Shine: Team Minot Airmen test ICBM rocket loading system

A transporter erector is raised during an annual proofload test at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, April 2, 2019. A transporter erector is used to downstage a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile rocket engine into silos. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Boster)

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett and Gen. Timothy Ray, Air Force Global Strike commander, sit at a mock launch control center, at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., on Oct. 27, 2019. Barrett was briefed on the extent on F.E. Warren’s many missions including its extensive missile mission.

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett and Gen. Timothy Ray, Air Force Global Strike commander, sit at a mock launch control center, at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., on Oct. 27, 2019. Barrett was briefed on the extent on F.E. Warren’s many missions including its extensive missile mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley N. Sokolov)

Senior Airman Alyssa M. Akers

From left, Capt. Ben Shea, 91st Operations Support Squadron minuteman combat crew commander, and 2nd Lt. Taylor Yost, 740th Missile Squadron deputy MMCCC, review Missile Alert Facility checklists at MAF Delta-01, Max, North Dakota, Oct. 26, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alyssa M. Akers)

A security forces defender provides ground support guidance for a helicopter landing.

Senior Airman Patrick McKelvey, 91st Missile Wing security forces member, stands at a launch facility at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota on Nov. 8th, 2019. McKelvey was coordinating the landing of a helicopter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Josh W. Strickland)


The 91st Missile Wing was awarded the Colonel Lee R. Williams Memorial award thus capturing the title of Best Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Wing in the Air Force Global Strike Command for the year of 2019 at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. 

The mission of the 91st Missile Wing is to defend the nation with a combat-ready nuclear force. A mission that the 91st MW takes pride in not just achieving, but excelling at.

Leading the way in AFGSC, the 91st Rough Riders dominated in numerous areas such as a sortie alert rate, launch facility availability rate, maintenance execution rate and mean time to repair; showing that the Rough Riders gets it done for AFGSC.

Winning the Colonel Lee R. Williams Award isn’t just achieved by a wing for best rates though, the achievements and outstanding performance of the wing’s Airmen and its servant leadership by commanders and noncommissioned officers all played a part. The Rough Rider Airmen from multiple shops worked in tandem with each other, winning recognition including the 2019 AFGSC Chadwell Trophy for the “Most Superior Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Maintenance” and the 2019 AFGSC McAdoo Award for “Best Overall ICBM OSS.”  Not to mention the wing garnered four Air Force level, twenty-four AFGSC, and ten Twentieth Air Force awards.

Colonel Harris, 91st Missile Wing Commander says, “I’m beyond proud of the men and women of the 91st MW and the contributions they’ve made to the nuclear mission.  They have never backed down from a challenge and always stand ready to defend this nation.  While the many awards won this year by the Rough Riders is incredible, what’s more impressive is accomplishing the mission in one of the most austere locations in the Air Force, 24/7/365, while developing innovative solutions that make this weapon system lethal and effective for years to come”. 

The 91st MW has set the standard by providing a reliable and combat ready force while also paving the way for innovation. In the past year the 91st MW benchmarked the mission planning process, integrated over 100 Air National Guardsmen into daily missile field operations, deployed its first reservist to a nuclear alert resulting in the only nuclear certified Airmen in the Air Reserve Component, and deployed the Numbered Air Force’s first 3D printed module saving the Air Force countless dollars.

While operations continued throughout the year here, the impact of the Rough Riders stretched across the country and globe. A Rough Rider Airman enabled international cross talks for women, peace and security issues with the Bangladesh, military enabling the cultivation of an Air Force and United Nations relationship. The world continues to watch Minot Air Force Base on a daily basis and often they travel to the 91st Missile Wing to see the famous Rough Riders work first hand. Last year representatives from the Government of Japan and the Republic of South Korea visited Minot enabling the Secretary of the Air Force’s intent of strengthening alliances.

“As a nuclear force it’s our responsibility to protect our nation and allies, and the partnerships we have are strengthened because of the resolve and professionalism of our Airman who work together as a team to deter our adversaries,” said Harris.

The 91st Missile Wing Rough Rider Airmen are specially entrusted with and responsible for the most powerful weapons in the nation’s arsenal. The elite team of highly disciplined Airmen who are poised 24/7 to ensure the deterrent capabilities of the United States when called upon are the reason the 91st Missile Wing stands above the rest. Well done Rough Riders…BULLY!


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