MINOT AIR FORCE BASE The new B-52 squadron at Minot Air Force Base and the base's 5th Bomb Wing received positive results in nuclear surety inspections conducted this past week, according to base officials.
A combined initial nuclear surety inspection of the 69th Bomb Squadron and a no-notice limited nuclear surety inspection of the 5th Bomb Wing were completed Saturday. The results were posted on the Minot AFB Web site following the completion of the inspection.
Nuclear surety inspections are done to certify units for the nuclear mission.
The 69th Bomb Squadron was activated in September and is a unit of the 5th Bomb Wing. Prior to its mission stand-up, the 69th was subject to an initial nuclear surety inspection and received a rating of not ready at that time, an Air Force spokeswoman at the Pentagon said. She said the initial nuclear surety inspection was re-scheduled when the unit felt its people and programs were ready for a re-test.
The 5th Bomb Wing's previous nuclear surety inspection was completed in May 2009 when it received a satisfactory, the highest grade possible for a nuclear surety inspection, Air Force officials at the Pentagon said.
The 69th Bomb Squadron and 5th Bomb Wing inspections were conducted Tuesday to Saturday by inspectors from the Air Combat Command Inspector General's office, with oversight provided by representatives from the Air Force Inspection Agency.
The 69th received its initial certification to perform its strategic mission and the bomb wing remains certified to perform its strategic mission.
The inspection highlights the Air Force's commitment to correcting deficiencies identified in recent reports and the benefits of the careful examination are paramount to the reliability of our nuclear enterprise, base officials said.
"This was a Team Minot effort," said Col. Douglas Cox, bomb wing commander. "These results are because of each and everyone of you here at Minot Air Force Base being fully engaged in demonstrating safe, secure and reliable nuclear operations."
Cox became commander of the bomb wing in October 2009.
With the added emphasis and focus placed on the nuclear enterprise, the Air Force has increased the intensity, depth and rigor of all inspection activities, to include nuclear surety inspections to ensure that every aspect of a unit's mission is thoroughly examined, base officials said. The limited nuclear surety inspection was conducted with less than 24-hours notification to the bomb wing.
"This is an achievement you can feel good about," Cox said. "We have demonstrated a level of combat capability and professionalism that we all can be proud of."
On Feb. 1, the bomb wing will become part of the Air Force Global Strike Command, the new command established to oversee the nuclear enterprise. The 91st Missile Wing at Minot AFB has been a unit of Global Strike Command since Dec. 1.