Air Force Global Strike leaders visit Minot AFB

Written by: Minot Air Force Base, 5th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

The two top leaders of Air Force Global Strike Command visited Minot Air Force Base this week to meet with Airmen and see first-hand how Team Minot provides strategic deterrence and precision strike anywhere around the world.

The Air Force Global Strike Command commander, Gen. Thomas Bussiere, and his spouse, Barbara, along with AFGSC command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Melvina Smith and her spouse, Derek, spent three days meeting Airmen, base leaders and Minot residents and immersing themselves in the operations that Minot Airmen perform every day.

The visit to Minot focused on Bussiere’s top priorities: people and mission. The command team met with Airmen from several units across the base including the 91st Security Forces Group, 5th Medical Group and 705th Munitions Squadron.
“Our Airmen and their families represent the greatest strength of AFGSC. The dedication and excellence on display from our Striker Airmen is always humbling to witness,” said Gen. Bussiere. “Through their service and sacrifice, they operate, maintain, and secure the most powerful weapons ever designed and execute continuous long-range strike operations across the globe.”

Senior Airman Freddie James, 91st Missile Security Forces Squadron missile security operator (left), and Senior Airman Taylor Hendrickson, 91st Security Forces Group strategic communicator, brief U.S. Air Force Gen. Thomas Bussiere, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, during a base tour at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Aug. 16, 2023. Bussiere recognized Airmen and attended multiple briefings that highlighted their contribution to the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Wilson)

Bussiere assumed command of AFGSC on Dec. 7, becoming the newest leader of the organization responsible for the nation’s only intercontinental ballistic missile and strategic bomber forces. Base visits offer a chance for the Air Force’s most senior leaders to meet with the junior Airmen carrying out their command’s mission.

Additionally, Barbara Bussiere and Derek Smith, AFGSC key spouses, toured the Child Development Center, attended resiliency briefs and hosted a key spouse round table to discuss current topics and concerns.

Chief Smith praised the Airmen of Global Strike Command.
“Our Strikers and their families are the key ingredient to our command’s success. Our Airmen can perform any mission, and their exceptional resiliency and commitment to excellence have enabled AFGSC to maximize our combat capacity and strategic readiness,” Smith said. “It’s our job as leaders to support them and their families in any way we can.
I appreciate the time taken by all the spouses who came to discuss their issues with us and provide unvarnished feelings and concerns. We listen and we take action on them.”

Minot Air Force Base is home to two major Air Force units: the 5th Bomb Wing and the 91st Missile Wing. The 5th Bomb Wing and 91st Missile Wing are Air Force Global Strike Command units.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Thomas Bussiere, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Melvina Smith, AFGSC command chief, observe a 91st Security Forces Group tactical response force fast-rope demonstration during a base tour at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Aug. 16, 2023. During the tour, Bussiere and Smith gained a detailed understanding of Team Minot’s capabilities in accomplishing the Global Strike mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Wilson)

The 5th Bomb Wing is the host wing. Known by its nickname, the Warbirds, the 5th Bomb Wing and its fleet of B-52H Stratofortress bombers serve as part of the Air Force’s conventional and strategic combat force as AEF warriors. The men and women of the wing are capable of flying anywhere around the world and delivering a wide range of precision-guided bombs and munitions. Excellence is the daily standard and is echoed by its motto, “Guardians of the Upper Realm.”

As one of the Air Force’s three operational intercontinental ballistic missile units, the 91st Missile Wing, whose members are known as the Rough Riders, are responsible for strategic deterrence by operating, maintaining and securing a fleet of 150 Minuteman III missiles located in underground launch facilities positioned in a 8,500 square mile missile complex located in the northwest part of the state.

Bussiere noted the critical importance of the mission, and the vital role Team Minot provides in support of that mission as the only base in the entire Department of Defense that hosts two legs of the nuclear triad.

“Our Strikers provide strategic deterrence and deliver long-range strike, are foundational to our nation’s defense, and AFGSC, because of our Airmen, is the backbone of those mission sets,” Bussiere said. The American people should sleep soundly at night knowing the men and women of Team Minot are on duty.”

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