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View Full Version : Minot; where easy is hard



takthekak
11-15-2010, 04:24 AM
So you thought dressing didn't take too much thought? think again

http://www.minot.af.mil/photos/slideshow.asp?id={7760B56B-3793-4A1A-9487-92729AC0A2BA}

This dual wing base is agruably the worst in the DoD. The weather get's down
to -60 below or worse with wind chill. They have two seasons; summer and winter.

The downtown community makes $360M off the base and don't have anything for them in town, not even a military discount at the theatre.

Both missions on base are nuclear, hence the biggest headaches and worse inspections known to man and of course they mostly are not deconflicted.

The housing rate in town is filled at 0.3 open. The rent has risen by 10% for the last three years, but BAH has only risen 5%.

Most people are stuck here for 4 years and some either PCA back and forth from one side of the wing to the next or go to Korea for a follow-on.

Becuase it's a dual wing, there is very limited support, becuase each side "hooks up" the other with services and no one is manned adequatly to help the other side.

Deployments are plentiful and usually everyone wants to go, especially during winter.

The funerals stop during the winter becuase the ground is frozen, so it's wait in the mourge until the winter ends.

Lastly, ND is the least visited state in the Nation and has no landmark that anyone wants to see. I guess in a nutshell, it sucks balls!!!

Photo is from Jamestown, ND in 1966

imported_BRAVO10000
11-15-2010, 05:19 AM
Seriously...this required a thread? Is this from that same place where your morale is super high? Where people are removed from duty obligations so that they can focus strictly on passing PT?



So let's summarize -
We need some leadership that can get a better handle on controlling the weather! No spring or fall? No Air Force.
Make Minot like all the other bases where the locals right off the base treat us like gold (aka NOWHERE).
Raise the Ops Tempo at places like Hickam or Ramstein...cuz if you're working non-stop, you at least want to know that there's a whole lot of awesomeness right next to you that you're missing.
The TOS station needs tobe the same everywhere. There's no reason that the AF should require a longer tenure at Minot than other places.
Showdown on Main Street between the two Wing Commanders at high noon. Losing wing must pack up and move to Myrtle Beach and re-open the base.
Deploy engineering teams to ND in the summer to pre-dig graves so that people can die in the winter.
Come up with ONE winter uniform combination and stick to it. Bring back mukaluks while you're at it. No one will come to visit us because our mixture of uniform items confuses them...
http://www.sonofthesouth.net/uncle-sam/images/stop-whining.jpg

takthekak
11-15-2010, 05:23 AM
Seriously...this required a thread? Is this from that same place where your morale is super high? Where people are removed from duty obligations so that they can focus strictly on passing PT?



So let's summarize -
We need some leadership that can get a better handle on controlling the weather! No spring or fall? No Air Force.
Make Minot like all the other bases where the locals right off the base treat us like gold (aka NOWHERE).
Raise the Ops Tempo at places like Hickam or Ramstein...cuz if you're working non-stop, you at least want to know that there's a whole lot of awesomeness right next to you that you're missing.
The TOS station needs tobe the same everywhere. There's no reason that the AF should require a longer tenure at Minot than other places.
Showdown on Main Street between the two Wing Commanders at high noon. Losing wing must pack up and move to Myrtle Beach and re-open the base.
Deploy engineering teams to ND in the summer to pre-dig graves so that people can die in the winter.
Come up with ONE winter uniform combination and stick to it. Bring back mukaluks while you're at it. No one will come to visit us because our mixture of uniform items confuses them...
http://www.sonofthesouth.net/uncle-sam/images/stop-whining.jpg

You've pulled a tour here?

imported_BRAVO10000
11-15-2010, 05:26 AM
You've pulled a tour here?

I've pulled tours LOTS of places. Think you have the market cornered on crappy locations?

takthekak
11-15-2010, 05:29 AM
I've pulled tours LOTS of places. Think you have the market cornered on crappy locations?

After three tours at Minot, yes.

Please stay out of my meaningless whiney thread.

imported_BRAVO10000
11-15-2010, 05:39 AM
After three tours at Minot, yes.

Please stay out of my meaningless whiney thread.

Right-o. Enjoy your pity party. I'll go hang out with the grown-ups.

imported_Wolf
11-15-2010, 05:45 AM
Make Minot like all the other bases where the locals right off the base treat us like gold (aka NOWHERE).


Hey wait a minute there, the locals here treat us like gold. (Yokota AB, Japan). :)

fufu
11-15-2010, 08:33 AM
"deployments" to guam....lol Real rough. I did a nickel+ in Minot.

StephenH
11-15-2010, 08:54 AM
I did three years in Minot and actually enjoyed it. In fact I was standing off the wing of a B52 loaded with nukes when Sep 11 happened.
We were promptly ordered to lock 'n load and take out a Cessna flying over.
What a day that was. We were smack dab in the middle of an NSI.

AFCARTOONIST
11-15-2010, 01:27 PM
I guess I'm missing what's so bad about the uniform page. Personally I think it's pretty cool there's a cut-and-dry place to go see what you can and cannot wear.

As for it being the worst base in the DoD, while I've never been there, I'd have to say that's relative. I was at Laughlin AFB for 3.5 years, and except for the weather it's a similar story. Substitute nukes with thousands of 2nd lieutenants who all think they're the next Maverick (and NO other mission) and you get the picture. Still, some people loved it there.

JeffyB
11-15-2010, 01:45 PM
I'd have no problem heading up there... Already did a Thule and an Ellsworth tour back to back; volunteered for both.

Pullinteeth
11-15-2010, 01:48 PM
I guess I'm missing what's so bad about the uniform page. Personally I think it's pretty cool there's a cut-and-dry place to go see what you can and cannot wear.

As for it being the worst base in the DoD, while I've never been there, I'd have to say that's relative. I was at Laughlin AFB for 3.5 years, and except for the weather it's a similar story. Substitute nukes with thousands of 2nd lieutenants who all think they're the next Maverick (and NO other mission) and you get the picture. Still, some people loved it there.

That is true everywhere. Any location you go to, some love it, some hate it. Cannon, some people tried to get Minot to get out fo Cannon others retired and stayed there. Hickham, some love it, others whine about the cost of living. You can never please everyone and there is always someone that says their base is the worst for one reason or another (though some cases are harder to sympathize with than others). I think any location you have been stationed at 3x without wanting to go to once would be bad...

Forsaken Wombat
11-15-2010, 02:57 PM
Minot is my 6th assignment and I will say all the good outweights the bad. Now if you are a single airman here, I do feel sorry for your lack of options, but the GF/BF mecca of Canada is only 30 miles away. As far as the non existant service on base, the lack of entertainment, the weather...the fact that I can let my kids walk down the street, leave my house unlocked, leave my vehicle running downtown and not have a single worry that something bad is going to happen...for me...that makes Minot ND one of the best assignments in the AF.

Funny...Goldsboro, NC (home city to SJAFB, gee whiz) is a great place. Except you go out the back gate (Slocumb Street Gate) and you have to navigate about one mile of streets that are dead center in the projects. And not "projects" derogatory..."projects" as in actual social housing filled with 50 Cent and DMX types who rub shoulders with the base perimeter fencing. Once you pass the liquor/fried chicken store with caged windows and a frequent police presence, you're good to go.

As for the front gate, the biggest dangers are the "28% APR Buy Here-Pay Here" car places and numerous dive bars, all of which seem to swallow Airmen alive.

But it's still a great place!

Thunderhorse19
11-15-2010, 06:08 PM
Fort Wainwright (former Ladd AFB) and Eilson AFB are worse than Minot. It's just as cold and just as miserable. You have to plug in your car in the winter and leave it running when you go shopping. My uncle, aunt and cousins were stationed there back in the early 1950's and I was stationed there in the early 1980's, and it was the pits. The anti-government and anti-military sentiment in interior Alaska will never go away, no matter what Palin says. There's too many secessionists roaming around loose in Alaska.

Pullinteeth
11-15-2010, 06:59 PM
I'm not sure what the issue is with the uniforms? Are you insinuating that Minot is the only place that requires you to wear a uniform? On an unrelated note...I miss my parka....

yaegerbomb
11-15-2010, 07:23 PM
Fort Wainwright isn't bad at all these days. Most new housing comes with heated floors and garages. The town has really grown up in the last seven years I've been up here.

I'm not from Eilson, but it looks pretty nice as well. The housing is nice, and they just got a new PX.

omertalifestyle
11-15-2010, 08:33 PM
Eielson AFB was AWESOME!!! I would go back there in a heartbeat. I was stationed there from 2003 to 2006 and I went TDY there in 2009. Sure its cold, but there are plenty of things to do during the Winter. Snowboarding and Snow Mobile riding were always my favorite. The town has gotten bigger and has more things there than they did when I was stationed there. There is also a new BX and remodeled Commisary, the gym has just added a HUGE annex that has a indoor track, cardio room, football field, and other amenities. They have built new housing and it is now privatized. The cold does suck, but your talking to a person that worked out on the flightline and I STILL loved it there.

yaegerbomb
11-15-2010, 08:57 PM
Alot of money has been put into Fort Wainwright and Eilson as of late. I'm dreading leaving this place. Not so much anti-military sentiment off post either. Military discounts are all over the place. Only thing is I see Soldiers getting ripped off with high rent for shabby places.

I'd like to see someone from Minot do a tour at Fort Greely. My wife was stationed there when we were dating. Her front door blew open one night while it was -60 and thats not counting the wind chill with an 80 mph wind.

tirekicker
11-15-2010, 11:25 PM
Anybody remember Loring AFB? 1 tour there and 2 at Grand Forks. Can't say they were my favorite bases, but they were an experience i'll never forget. :rapture

Kirtland_Red_Storm
11-16-2010, 03:12 AM
I remember that Minot was a control tour for five years. You didn't go anywhere, period. Guys in SAC where jumping for the opportunity for stability in their family. Well those were the old SAC days.....don't know what goes into a tour now but the folks still volunteer for it.

HydroMagic
11-16-2010, 04:11 AM
Always love a "Minot sucks" vent thread! I love whinning about Minot! I know there are worse places, but that doesn't mean Minot doesn't suck. I don't even know what the point of this thread is anymore. But I'll bite, I can't help it. The winter uniform stuff is whatever. Working on the flightline nobody cares, wear whatever as long as you're out there working and you have that damn reflective belt on. Everyone I've met that's been to Alaska, prefers Alaska. Everyone. At least 10+ people I've spoken too. Single dude here by the way.....GAWD this place is a social life killer! Even Abilene, TX was more fun than this. Especially in the winter. Horrible place to have spent a good chunk of my 20's in. Insta-dad with an overweight wife is not what I'm looking for in my future. No thanks LOL. Oh well, still serving, still getting paid, and it is time to sharpen the blades and hit the ice!

Kirtland_Red_Storm
11-16-2010, 06:22 AM
Insta-dad with an overweight wife is not what I'm looking for in my future. No thanks LOL. Oh well, still serving, still getting paid, and it is time to sharpen the blades and hit the ice!


Avoid JB's with Army. There was one was running scheme to marry a GI, 10 years, file for divorce. Then do it again. They caught with her...

KMD86
11-16-2010, 09:15 AM
to piggy back on the eielson banter, i was there from january 2007 to february 2010 and loved it. i even lived in the dorms all 37 months. it had it's day where i couldnt stand it, but the good definately out weighed the bad there and i had an amazing time. i made lots of friends and was sad to leave.

Forsaken Wombat
11-16-2010, 01:23 PM
to piggy back on the eielson banter...

:doh .

takthekak
11-16-2010, 03:04 PM
I have had plenty of troops here, leave and go to awesome places like Hawaii, etc
and even if they complained at those bases in jest, they had a frame a reference
thanks to hellish Minot. Now, my first bast long ago was Holloman AFB, NM and it
wasn't great, but the weather was awesome. I have never been to a base like this,
where wife's and husbands refuse to come with their spouse, family does not visit
becuase NWA charges $900 a ticket, people retire if they get orders here,
people cry and I mean cry when they find out their coming here and when they
get here they immediately go worldwide available and pray for Korea...

Now all this being said, they get here and read "Only the Best Come North" on the gate.
Trust me, only bad bases need sayings to try and trick you.

There is a reason Minot, ND is only 1 of 2 VSBAP bases and the other is right next door at Grand Forks, ND.
It's a god aweful northern tier base which has an equally bad retention rate becuase it kills more first term airman careers then STDs. It's like Herpes; it stays with you the rest of your career/life!

imported_Sgt HULK
11-16-2010, 04:48 PM
Man, you guys think you have it tough, try coming to Patrick, god, Warm year round, beaches, i surfed for about 12 hrs this weekend, fishing all the time, rocket and shuttle launches. Golfing, ugh the worst is the weather, sitting on my patio in the evening when its 75 out drinking beer staring at the water. Man it sucks

Forsaken Wombat
11-16-2010, 09:54 PM
I have had plenty of troops here, leave and go to awesome places like Hawaii, etc
and even if they complained at those bases in jest, they had a frame a reference
thanks to hellish Minot. Now, my first bast long ago was Holloman AFB, NM and it
wasn't great, but the weather was awesome. I have never been to a base like this,
where wife's and husbands refuse to come with their spouse, family does not visit
becuase NWA charges $900 a ticket, people retire if they get orders here,
people cry and I mean cry when they find out their coming here and when they
get here they immediately go worldwide available and pray for Korea...

Now all this being said, they get here and read "Only the Best Come North" on the gate.
Trust me, only bad bases need sayings to try and trick you.

There is a reason Minot, ND is only 1 of 2 VSBAP bases and the other is right next door at Grand Forks, ND.
It's a god aweful northern tier base which has an equally bad retention rate becuase it kills more first term airman careers then STDs. It's like Herpes; it stays with you the rest of your career/life!

Is that a RAINBOW in that picture....upper right corner? What the hell? That place is AWESOME....has to be!

imported_BRAVO10000
11-16-2010, 10:10 PM
Man, you guys think you have it tough, try coming to Patrick, god, Warm year round, beaches, i surfed for about 12 hrs this weekend, fishing all the time, rocket and shuttle launches. Golfing, ugh the worst is the weather, sitting on my patio in the evening when its 75 out drinking beer staring at the water. Man it sucks

Shuttie, you. I have been trying to get there my entire career...

2G071
11-16-2010, 10:14 PM
“Only The Best Come North”

Really?! You’d think the “best” could pass an inspection every once in a while…

Thanks, but I can live with being “well above average” in San Antonio.

takthekak
11-16-2010, 11:27 PM
When I was at Holloman a long time ago I tried to so hard to get Germany. I had my MSgt call there,
back when they had some pull, still nothing worked out. During that tour I would go TDY and see
people in my field who had went straight to Germany after tech school, or their first assignment
was a cake base in Florida and then they got Germany...Yeah, it ticked me off as I finished
NM, got an assignmnt to Korea and then went to ND...all these years later and I guess I'll have
to just go vacation in Germany instead.

imported_Sgt HULK
11-17-2010, 01:31 PM
Shuttie, you. I have been trying to get there my entire career...

It took retraining, crying, begging and some things im not to proud of ( no dadt) LOL to get here

i'll never leave lol

jmb27
11-17-2010, 04:47 PM
Man, you guys think you have it tough, try coming to Patrick, god, Warm year round, beaches, i surfed for about 12 hrs this weekend, fishing all the time, rocket and shuttle launches. Golfing, ugh the worst is the weather, sitting on my patio in the evening when its 75 out drinking beer staring at the water. Man it sucks

I know what you mean, I can hear the waves from the Atlantic when I'm sitting on my porch. It's terrible

HydroMagic
11-18-2010, 01:52 AM
Man, you guys think you have it tough, try coming to Patrick, god, Warm year round, beaches, i surfed for about 12 hrs this weekend, fishing all the time, rocket and shuttle launches. Golfing, ugh the worst is the weather, sitting on my patio in the evening when its 75 out drinking beer staring at the water. Man it sucks

No fair......I can't even go to Patrick under my career field :pout I'd love MacDill too. I would pay for my move, give away a stripe and live with AB pay for a year just to PCS down there and be left alone. :happy

imported_BRAVO10000
11-18-2010, 05:34 AM
It took retraining, crying, begging and some things im not to proud of ( no dadt) LOL to get here

i'll never leave lol

Not very many people leave. As I hear it, there are finger-drag marks on the MPF floor from those that got orders to leave and were drug away.

I spent a lot of my youth at nearby Melbourne and Sebastian Inlet, shooting the pier, and a couple of years in Daytona Beach prior to the miltary. I'm a Gulf Coast native but I'd settle there in a minute.

takthekak
11-19-2010, 05:42 AM
Maybe I was wrong about Minot...
http://www.minotdailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/549399.html

imported_Shove_your_stupid_meeting
11-19-2010, 01:24 PM
Been there. Done that.

Sunshine52
11-21-2010, 01:18 AM
You forgot that if Minot is known as a career killer for Senior Officers. Come to Minot, get fired. I think the count is now over a dozen fired commanders since 2007.

takthekak
11-21-2010, 07:55 PM
http://www.minot.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123231565

Sunshine52
11-23-2010, 05:35 AM
Actually it appears 5BW had one of the worst performances of the competition. Only two low level awards (Best nuke load and Best SF Tactics), no major awards (Fairchild, Mitchell, etc..) and the "Spirit Bell" (aka... feel good award because you didn't win anything else award). The Missile Wing did much better.

takthekak
11-25-2010, 03:08 AM
Watches and Warnings

Minot Forecast ...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON CST /11 AM
MST/ THURSDAY...

A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON CST /11 AM
MST/ THURSDAY.

* SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING WILL RANGE
FROM 6 TO 8 INCHES.

* GUSTY NORTHWEST WINDS OF 20 TO 35 MPH WILL RESULT IN
VISIBILITIES LESS THAN ONE MILE AT TIMES IN BLOWING AND
DRIFTING SNOW THROUGH THANKSGIVING DAY.

* DANGEROUS WIND CHILL TEMPERATURES OF BETWEEN 25 AND 35 BELOW
ZERO WILL DEVELOP WEDNESDAY NIGHT INTO THANKSGIVING DAY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER
CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF
SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN
AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...
FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

Venus
11-25-2010, 04:12 AM
Watches and Warnings

Minot Forecast ...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON CST /11 AM
MST/ THURSDAY...

A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON CST /11 AM
MST/ THURSDAY.

* SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING WILL RANGE
FROM 6 TO 8 INCHES.

* GUSTY NORTHWEST WINDS OF 20 TO 35 MPH WILL RESULT IN
VISIBILITIES LESS THAN ONE MILE AT TIMES IN BLOWING AND
DRIFTING SNOW THROUGH THANKSGIVING DAY.

* DANGEROUS WIND CHILL TEMPERATURES OF BETWEEN 25 AND 35 BELOW
ZERO WILL DEVELOP WEDNESDAY NIGHT INTO THANKSGIVING DAY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER
CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF
SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN
AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...
FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

30 below keeps the riff raff out.

Venus
11-25-2010, 04:31 AM
I wish they would have closed Minot transferred the Missle fields to Grand Forks and move the Buffs to KI Sawyer. That was my favorite base, sure it got cold and 200 inches of snow was considered a drought but it had alot more to offer, where else can you ride your snowmobile to work, have a wing down day on the first day of deer gun season. Live on your own lake and win a deer rifle on a raffle guessing when the last of the snow pile on the flightline melted,usally mid August. The upper penisula of Michigan has some off the most beautiful scenary in the upper midwest. It was a sportsmens paradise. I was so depressed when they gave me 3 choices of Tinker ,Beale, or Dyess when they shut down my KC-135 sq down. I decided to pick the evil I know and chose Tinker.

takthekak
12-12-2010, 10:53 PM
Minot rebuilds reputation after rough year

‘Getting it right’ drives quest to reclaim reputation on nuclear security
By Michael Hoffman - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Apr 1, 2009 16:23:02 EDT

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. — Even under the best conditions, there’s probably not a tougher assignment in the Air Force — outside of Iraq or Afghanistan — than coming to what one commander calls this “prairie outpost.”

The snow doesn’t start melting until May, the town of Minot is closer to Canada — 55 miles away — than it is to Montana, Minnesota or South Dakota, the states that border North Dakota, and frankly, there’s not much to do for entertainment.

But life could be described as downright miserable for the airmen who’ve passed through here since August 2007, when the 5th Bomb Wing accidentally loaded six nuclear warheads onto a B-52 headed for Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

Nothing exploded, but Minot experienced a firestorm. The top brass, lawmakers, the media — all pointed to the base as the prime example of all that was wrong with the Air Force’s nuclear enterprise.

Now, though, things are looking up as spring toys with coming around. The airmen, once fodder for the late-night talk shows, are working to restore the base’s reputation by paying attention to business — something they hadn’t done for far too long, their leaders acknowledge.

“It was definitely a black eye for us, but it was a wake-up call,” said Col. Joel Westa, who assumed command of the 5th Bomb Wing after his predecessor lost his job over the August 2007 mistake.

“It was painful,” Westa went on. “A lot of folks had their careers affected by it, and a lot of hard work went into some very long days.”

Airmen worked 14 hours a day, seven days a week to prepare for what seemed like a countless number of inspections. Their fatigue was evident in their bloodshot eyes and drawn faces. Morale dipped because of the workload and the barrage of criticism, mostly from lawmakers and the media.

“There was a dark cloud that hung over the base,” Westa recalled.

Still, the servicemen and women interviewed by Air Force Times on a November tour of the base agreed a correction was long overdue for a system described by a Defense Department task force as steadily declining since the end of the Cold War.

“We knew we were better than that,” said Chief Master Sgt. Mark Clark, the 5th Bomb Wing’s command chief master sergeant who arrived here in July 2007. “But complacency grew from years of success. Now we want to right the wrong and we remain committed to getting it right.”

These airmen — officer and enlisted — are young. Three out of four security forces airmen at Minot are on their first tour of duty, and lieutenants and captains make up most of the two-man teams responsible for launching nuclear missiles.

Youth aside, perfection remains the standard, said Lt. Col. Thad Hill, commander of the 91st Security Forces Squadron at Minot.

“It puts even more pressure on our leaders, and our airmen have responded,” Hill said.

Earlier patterns
While Minot brought to light the laxness at guarding the service’s nuclear arsenal, the first blunder happened a year earlier at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. In summer 2006, airmen at Hill took four nuclear fuses stored at an unclassified site and shipped them to Taiwan.

The Taiwanese government immediately reported the shipment to U.S. leaders, but Air Force leaders didn’t disclose the mix-up until March 2008, 18 months after it happened and six months after Minot.

Three months later, because of the two incidents, the Air Force’s top two leaders — Secretary Michael W. Wynne and Chief of Staff T. Michael Moseley — found themselves looking for work. Defense Secretary Robert Gates demanded their resignations.

Things didn’t change at Minot overnight, though.

2008 was a long year at the base: two failed nuclear surety inspections, three missile officers caught sleeping while guarding nuclear missile launch code components and two missile officers charged with stealing classified tamper devices from a nuclear missile launch capsule.

Only last summer, inspectors watched an airman play video games on his cell phone while he supposedly guarded nuclear warheads. It was the 5th Bomb Wing’s first nuclear surety inspection since the warheads mistake.

Inspectors ended up failing the 5th Bomb Wing, and the pitchforks returned. Outside critics questioned how a base under so much scrutiny could allow any error to bubble up, but Westa said the sweeping assumptions based on a test where only one mistake will fail an entire wing were not fair.

“Our NSI was great with the exception of the cops, but during the [re-inspection], the cops just killed it,” Westa said.

In fact, the 5th Bomb Wing was one of five nuclear units to fail its NSIs in 2008, including the 91st Missile Wing also at Minot, as inspectors made inspections tougher to show the service was cracking down.

Missile officers who spoke to Air Force Times in the fall didn’t hide their disgust with co-workers who cast a bad light on Minot and the negative publicity.

Capt. Raymundo Vann, a missile officer in the 91st Missile Wing, thinks the public saw the actions of a few officers and assumed every officer behaved the same way.

“That wasn’t fair,” Vann said. “I wish America could see what we do.”

The airmen heard kind words when Gates visited North Dakota in December. He lauded their improvements.

“We owe you the attention, the people, and the resources you need to do the job right,” Gates told the airmen here. “For your part, you must never take your duties lightly.”

Two months later, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Minot. He, too, complimented the progress made but warned that more work needed to be done.

The task force that identified the deterioration of the Air Force’s nuclear enterprise also detailed how the service needed to retain airmen with experience in nuclear career fields.

Vann and 1st Lt. Adrian Zollinger, also a missile officer, suggest incentives such as extra education funding, re-enlistment bonuses and deployment credit for assignments to nuclear bases would help boost retention.

Both also pointed out high morale makes a job more attractive, and Minot airmen are starting to feel good again about themselves and what they do. Others echoed their sentiments.

“What happened happened, but this is what we do. The standard has always been perfection, and we know we can’t make mistakes,” said Senior Airman Martin Tatum, of the 91st Special Forces Group armorer. “We take pride in what we do.”

Luring young airmen
Westa and Col. Christopher Ayres, 91st Missile Wing commander, see quality-of-life issues — better housing for singles, more recreational services — as key to drawing young airmen to nuclear career fields.

“Our dorms are the worst in the Air Force as the Air Force has admitted, but now they have committed funding to renovating and building new dorms,” said Westa, adding new dorms are on the way. Construction has already started on a 144-room dorm on base with another 168-room dorm coming soon.

One aspect to Minot living that the Air Force can’t do anything about is the cold. Going to work at snow-covered missile fields where the temperature frequently drops to double digits below zero, it’s easy to understand why airmen would want to avoid what Westa described as a “prairie outpost.”

“I can remember when we had three straight weeks when the temperature was below zero,” Minot spokeswoman Maj. Elizabeth Ortiz said. “So when it actually was above, it was weird, but it actually felt warm.”

Winter aside, the small-town, family atmosphere leaves some airmen not wanting to leave North Dakota.

“I always say you’ll cry when you get orders for Minot,” Ayres said, “but you’ll also cry when you leave.”


________________________________


Minot’s nuclear course
A timeline of the events at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., since the first mishap involving nuclear warheads:

2007
• Aug. 29: Airmen at Minot mistakenly load six nuclear warheads onto a B-52 Stratofortress bomber headed for Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

• Aug. 30: Almost 36 hours later, the mistake is discovered by Barksdale airmen. The 5th Munitions Squadron commander is immediately relieved and 65 airmen are decertified from working with nuclear weapons.

• Oct. 19: Col. Bruce Emig, 5th Bomb Wing commander, two group commanders and a squadron commander are sacked, the Air Force announces.

• Nov. 1: Col. Joel Westa assumes command of the 5th Bomb Wing.

• Dec. 16: Air Combat Command inspectors visit Minot for an initial nuclear surety inspection and decide to push back the NSI from its scheduled Jan. 23 start.

2008
• March 20: U.S. officials discover the Air Force mistakenly shipped four fuses designed to trigger nuclear ballistic missiles to Taiwan in 2006 and let them sit there since.

• March 31: Gen. John Corley, ACC commander, recertifies the wing to handle nuclear weapons after ACC inspectors finish their initial NSI on March 29.

• May 25: Defense Threat Reduction Agency inspectors conducting a nuclear surety inspection give the 5th Bomb Wing an “unsatisfactory rating,” citing problems primarily with security forces. The failure costs the 5th's security forces commander, Lt. Col. John Worley, his job.

• June 5: Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley and Secretary Michael Wynne are fired after a Defense Department investigation finds wide-ranging problems with the service’s nuclear enterprise.

• June 16: Lt. Col. Stephen Weaver assumes command of the 5th’s security forces.

• July 12: Three officers with the 91st Space Wing fall asleep with classified missile launch codes while waiting permission to leave a launch control center.

• Aug. 15: The 5th Bomb Wing passes its nuclear surety re-inspection.

• Aug. 28: The three officers receive Article 15s and lose their certification in the Personnel Reliability Program.

• Dec. 1: Robert Gates becomes the first defense secretary to visit Minot.

2009
• Feb. 18: Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, makes his first visit to Minot.

• March 6: A military judge postponed court-martial for Capt. Paul Borowieki, accused of stealing a missile launch-control tamper device at Minot. An investigation is ongoing into another missile officer who allegedly took part in the theft.

takthekak
12-12-2010, 10:53 PM
Minot rebuilds reputation after rough year

‘Getting it right’ drives quest to reclaim reputation on nuclear security
By Michael Hoffman - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Apr 1, 2009 16:23:02 EDT

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. — Even under the best conditions, there’s probably not a tougher assignment in the Air Force — outside of Iraq or Afghanistan — than coming to what one commander calls this “prairie outpost.”

The snow doesn’t start melting until May, the town of Minot is closer to Canada — 55 miles away — than it is to Montana, Minnesota or South Dakota, the states that border North Dakota, and frankly, there’s not much to do for entertainment.

But life could be described as downright miserable for the airmen who’ve passed through here since August 2007, when the 5th Bomb Wing accidentally loaded six nuclear warheads onto a B-52 headed for Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

Nothing exploded, but Minot experienced a firestorm. The top brass, lawmakers, the media — all pointed to the base as the prime example of all that was wrong with the Air Force’s nuclear enterprise.

Now, though, things are looking up as spring toys with coming around. The airmen, once fodder for the late-night talk shows, are working to restore the base’s reputation by paying attention to business — something they hadn’t done for far too long, their leaders acknowledge.

“It was definitely a black eye for us, but it was a wake-up call,” said Col. Joel Westa, who assumed command of the 5th Bomb Wing after his predecessor lost his job over the August 2007 mistake.

“It was painful,” Westa went on. “A lot of folks had their careers affected by it, and a lot of hard work went into some very long days.”

Airmen worked 14 hours a day, seven days a week to prepare for what seemed like a countless number of inspections. Their fatigue was evident in their bloodshot eyes and drawn faces. Morale dipped because of the workload and the barrage of criticism, mostly from lawmakers and the media.

“There was a dark cloud that hung over the base,” Westa recalled.

Still, the servicemen and women interviewed by Air Force Times on a November tour of the base agreed a correction was long overdue for a system described by a Defense Department task force as steadily declining since the end of the Cold War.

“We knew we were better than that,” said Chief Master Sgt. Mark Clark, the 5th Bomb Wing’s command chief master sergeant who arrived here in July 2007. “But complacency grew from years of success. Now we want to right the wrong and we remain committed to getting it right.”

These airmen — officer and enlisted — are young. Three out of four security forces airmen at Minot are on their first tour of duty, and lieutenants and captains make up most of the two-man teams responsible for launching nuclear missiles.

Youth aside, perfection remains the standard, said Lt. Col. Thad Hill, commander of the 91st Security Forces Squadron at Minot.

“It puts even more pressure on our leaders, and our airmen have responded,” Hill said.

Earlier patterns
While Minot brought to light the laxness at guarding the service’s nuclear arsenal, the first blunder happened a year earlier at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. In summer 2006, airmen at Hill took four nuclear fuses stored at an unclassified site and shipped them to Taiwan.

The Taiwanese government immediately reported the shipment to U.S. leaders, but Air Force leaders didn’t disclose the mix-up until March 2008, 18 months after it happened and six months after Minot.

Three months later, because of the two incidents, the Air Force’s top two leaders — Secretary Michael W. Wynne and Chief of Staff T. Michael Moseley — found themselves looking for work. Defense Secretary Robert Gates demanded their resignations.

Things didn’t change at Minot overnight, though.

2008 was a long year at the base: two failed nuclear surety inspections, three missile officers caught sleeping while guarding nuclear missile launch code components and two missile officers charged with stealing classified tamper devices from a nuclear missile launch capsule.

Only last summer, inspectors watched an airman play video games on his cell phone while he supposedly guarded nuclear warheads. It was the 5th Bomb Wing’s first nuclear surety inspection since the warheads mistake.

Inspectors ended up failing the 5th Bomb Wing, and the pitchforks returned. Outside critics questioned how a base under so much scrutiny could allow any error to bubble up, but Westa said the sweeping assumptions based on a test where only one mistake will fail an entire wing were not fair.

“Our NSI was great with the exception of the cops, but during the [re-inspection], the cops just killed it,” Westa said.

In fact, the 5th Bomb Wing was one of five nuclear units to fail its NSIs in 2008, including the 91st Missile Wing also at Minot, as inspectors made inspections tougher to show the service was cracking down.

Missile officers who spoke to Air Force Times in the fall didn’t hide their disgust with co-workers who cast a bad light on Minot and the negative publicity.

Capt. Raymundo Vann, a missile officer in the 91st Missile Wing, thinks the public saw the actions of a few officers and assumed every officer behaved the same way.

“That wasn’t fair,” Vann said. “I wish America could see what we do.”

The airmen heard kind words when Gates visited North Dakota in December. He lauded their improvements.

“We owe you the attention, the people, and the resources you need to do the job right,” Gates told the airmen here. “For your part, you must never take your duties lightly.”

Two months later, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Minot. He, too, complimented the progress made but warned that more work needed to be done.

The task force that identified the deterioration of the Air Force’s nuclear enterprise also detailed how the service needed to retain airmen with experience in nuclear career fields.

Vann and 1st Lt. Adrian Zollinger, also a missile officer, suggest incentives such as extra education funding, re-enlistment bonuses and deployment credit for assignments to nuclear bases would help boost retention.

Both also pointed out high morale makes a job more attractive, and Minot airmen are starting to feel good again about themselves and what they do. Others echoed their sentiments.

“What happened happened, but this is what we do. The standard has always been perfection, and we know we can’t make mistakes,” said Senior Airman Martin Tatum, of the 91st Special Forces Group armorer. “We take pride in what we do.”

Luring young airmen
Westa and Col. Christopher Ayres, 91st Missile Wing commander, see quality-of-life issues — better housing for singles, more recreational services — as key to drawing young airmen to nuclear career fields.

“Our dorms are the worst in the Air Force as the Air Force has admitted, but now they have committed funding to renovating and building new dorms,” said Westa, adding new dorms are on the way. Construction has already started on a 144-room dorm on base with another 168-room dorm coming soon.

One aspect to Minot living that the Air Force can’t do anything about is the cold. Going to work at snow-covered missile fields where the temperature frequently drops to double digits below zero, it’s easy to understand why airmen would want to avoid what Westa described as a “prairie outpost.”

“I can remember when we had three straight weeks when the temperature was below zero,” Minot spokeswoman Maj. Elizabeth Ortiz said. “So when it actually was above, it was weird, but it actually felt warm.”

Winter aside, the small-town, family atmosphere leaves some airmen not wanting to leave North Dakota.

“I always say you’ll cry when you get orders for Minot,” Ayres said, “but you’ll also cry when you leave.”


________________________________


Minot’s nuclear course
A timeline of the events at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., since the first mishap involving nuclear warheads:

2007
• Aug. 29: Airmen at Minot mistakenly load six nuclear warheads onto a B-52 Stratofortress bomber headed for Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

• Aug. 30: Almost 36 hours later, the mistake is discovered by Barksdale airmen. The 5th Munitions Squadron commander is immediately relieved and 65 airmen are decertified from working with nuclear weapons.

• Oct. 19: Col. Bruce Emig, 5th Bomb Wing commander, two group commanders and a squadron commander are sacked, the Air Force announces.

• Nov. 1: Col. Joel Westa assumes command of the 5th Bomb Wing.

• Dec. 16: Air Combat Command inspectors visit Minot for an initial nuclear surety inspection and decide to push back the NSI from its scheduled Jan. 23 start.

2008
• March 20: U.S. officials discover the Air Force mistakenly shipped four fuses designed to trigger nuclear ballistic missiles to Taiwan in 2006 and let them sit there since.

• March 31: Gen. John Corley, ACC commander, recertifies the wing to handle nuclear weapons after ACC inspectors finish their initial NSI on March 29.

• May 25: Defense Threat Reduction Agency inspectors conducting a nuclear surety inspection give the 5th Bomb Wing an “unsatisfactory rating,” citing problems primarily with security forces. The failure costs the 5th's security forces commander, Lt. Col. John Worley, his job.

• June 5: Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley and Secretary Michael Wynne are fired after a Defense Department investigation finds wide-ranging problems with the service’s nuclear enterprise.

• June 16: Lt. Col. Stephen Weaver assumes command of the 5th’s security forces.

• July 12: Three officers with the 91st Space Wing fall asleep with classified missile launch codes while waiting permission to leave a launch control center.

• Aug. 15: The 5th Bomb Wing passes its nuclear surety re-inspection.

• Aug. 28: The three officers receive Article 15s and lose their certification in the Personnel Reliability Program.

• Dec. 1: Robert Gates becomes the first defense secretary to visit Minot.

2009
• Feb. 18: Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, makes his first visit to Minot.

• March 6: A military judge postponed court-martial for Capt. Paul Borowieki, accused of stealing a missile launch-control tamper device at Minot. An investigation is ongoing into another missile officer who allegedly took part in the theft.

smarg
12-12-2010, 11:23 PM
Minot is a helluva lot better than OEF. A lot better than OIF. Better than the 'Deid.

At least you can have fun with the sturdy local girls and not get in trouble.

:becky

takthekak
12-12-2010, 11:38 PM
Minot is a helluva lot better than OEF. A lot better than OIF. Better than the 'Deid.

At least you can have fun with the sturdy local girls and not get in trouble.

:becky

Tak doesn't dig on "Buffalo Chicks"

I only want "Fine Chicks!"

Kirtland_Red_Storm
12-12-2010, 11:54 PM
Tak doesn't dig on "Buffalo Chicks"

I only want "Fine Chicks!"

http://i359.photobucket.com/albums/oo31/Ricejammer_2008/whitecitytrash.jpg

Kirtland_Red_Storm
12-12-2010, 11:59 PM
Minot is a helluva lot better.

At least you can have fun with the sturdy local girls and not get in trouble.

:becky

http://i359.photobucket.com/albums/oo31/Ricejammer_2008/female-smoker.jpg

smarg
12-13-2010, 12:24 AM
http://i359.photobucket.com/albums/oo31/Ricejammer_2008/female-smoker.jpg

Yup, this one's sturdy all right. Haw!

Sunshine52
12-13-2010, 06:39 AM
Minot rebuilds reputation after rough year

‘Getting it right’ drives quest to reclaim reputation on nuclear security
By Michael Hoffman - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Apr 1, 2009 16:23:02 EDT

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. — Even under the best conditions, there’s probably not a tougher assignment in the Air Force — outside of Iraq or Afghanistan .......

2009
• Feb. 18: Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, makes his first visit to Minot.

• March 6: A military judge postponed court-martial for Capt. Paul Borowieki, accused of stealing a missile launch-control tamper device at Minot. An investigation is ongoing into another missile officer who allegedly took part in the theft.

You forgot that both Col Ayers and Westa were fired a few months after this article was written.

AGEdrone
12-15-2010, 04:33 PM
“Only The Best Come North”

Really?! You’d think the “best” could pass an inspection every once in a while…

Thanks, but I can live with being “well above average” in San Antonio.


I think Minot has been spot on with inspections up until that point...I was there when that whole thing went down and we paid for it. Long hours and weekends but we did get certification back if I might add. If you messed up and had all of the United States looking at you under a microscope for months, I'm sure you would mess a few things up here and there trying to get back on track.

chevyman
12-16-2010, 09:45 PM
Yup, this one's sturdy all right. Haw!




Her or Jill Metzger? I would take death.

takthekak
12-25-2010, 05:26 AM
Nothing like prepping for DVs on Christmas, Ho Ho Ho
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123236224

Kirtland_Red_Storm
12-26-2010, 03:44 AM
Nothing like prepping for DVs on Christmas, Ho Ho Ho
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123236224

At least they didn't have to cut the grass, just cover up the "yelllow" snow.

imported_Joker76
12-26-2010, 08:01 PM
Minot, where it is so focking cold we should be authorized to grow beards for the winter, but we arent..so i can't feel my face

takthekak
12-26-2010, 10:40 PM
Minot, where it is so focking cold we should be authorized to grow beards for the winter, but we arent..so i can't feel my face

They can repeal DADT but not beard restrictions...that's it I'm calling Al Sharpton or maybe Morten Downey Jr.

takthekak
12-29-2010, 07:24 PM
Damn, I hate this place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!

Tonight: Snow and areas of blowing snow. Low around -1. Wind chill values as low as -20. Blustery, with a north wind between 20 and 23 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 5 to 9 inches possible.

Thursday: Snow and widespread blowing snow. Temperature falling to around -3 by 5pm. Wind chill values as low as -25. Blustery, with a north wind between 21 and 23 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Thursday Night: A 50 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around -12. Wind chill values as low as -35. Blustery, with a north wind between 14 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
----------------------------------
This is ON TOP OF the 22+ inches we already have for the month of December!!!
http://www.minotdailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/550326/Minot-receives-22-inches-of-snow-so-far-this-month.html

HydroMagic
12-30-2010, 12:49 AM
Also...Road Conditions RED....but lets keep everybody at work while the snow accumulates so more people end up stuck in ditches and get in accidents (happens all the time). After all, we have such an important mission right now....cause you know....wait....nothing is scheduled to fly :der ???

takthekak
12-30-2010, 03:35 AM
Also...Road Conditions RED....but lets keep everybody at work while the snow accumulates so more people end up stuck in ditches and get in accidents (happens all the time). After all, we have such an important mission right now....cause you know....wait....nothing is scheduled to fly :der ???

There's no more important mission than keeping a support base open :-)

Kirtland_Red_Storm
12-30-2010, 04:36 AM
I can imagine some guy in a Missile Control Center looking at a CCTV and saying no way am I leaving here!

mil876
12-30-2010, 02:13 PM
Spend 4+ years at Minot in the mid 80's. GREAT memories. Yes, the weather sucks. But, 20 plus years later, I am still in contact with people I was stationed with. Granted, this was during the SAC/cold war years. Worked in the "CBPO" that was always 100%+ manned. We worked hard, and also played hard. The biggest piece of technology on my circa 1930 grey metal desk was an IBM selectric! All communication off base was accomplished manually on a DD Form 173 (Sorry, Amn, you'll have to retype it, the typeset is touching the red line!) with at least 3 onion skin carbons behind it (ANYBODY old enough to remember 173's and onion skin!?!?!) Funny, even though my present AF job is in IT, the work was done with great effecienly back then! Also spend 2+ years at Laughlin - Minot, without snow. Again, GREAT memories, and still in contact with friends.

takthekak
12-30-2010, 02:27 PM
Stop complaining, some of the 91st folks are prob gonna be stuck at work for an extra day or two.

oh no, not an extra day or two...when some work about 16 days a month, that would be just devastating...

DWWSWWD
12-30-2010, 04:13 PM
Man, you guys think you have it tough, try coming to Patrick, god, Warm year round, beaches, i surfed for about 12 hrs this weekend, fishing all the time, rocket and shuttle launches. Golfing, ugh the worst is the weather, sitting on my patio in the evening when its 75 out drinking beer staring at the water. Man it sucksCheck this out. I was at Ft. Bragg for 12 years. (by choice due to a special duty) Got orders to Patrick, bought a beautiful house with a pool. Went to the SNCOA and General Brady looked me in the eye, along with the other 300 or so folks in the class, and told us the PCS budget is broke, noone is going anywhere. 2 years on station, to the day, I got non-vol'd overseas. Ironic to me that my non-vol assignment was paid for by one of the rubber checks that General Brady wrote. Patrick was nice. Mission sucked.

mil876
12-30-2010, 07:37 PM
YOU know, its not about them, its about them being away from their families for over 6 months out of every year. Whats the divorce rate like for those guys? I'd imagine its pretty high. 16 days of NOT being home, not reading bed time stories, no sex.
Arent you a Sup for one of those squadrons...so you go out in the field what...once or twice a month. Hopefully you actually worked the job before becoming a sup so you understand whats its like....if not...god help your troops.

Ok, I was very kind and patient with you on another thread. Now, I've lost my patience. Have you ever been stationed at Minot? Do you have ANY personal knowledge of the sup? D - Its time you grew up!

takthekak
12-31-2010, 05:56 AM
YOU know, its not about them, its about them being away from their families for over 6 months out of every year. Whats the divorce rate like for those guys? I'd imagine its pretty high. 16 days of NOT being home, not reading bed time stories, no sex.
Arent you a Sup for one of those squadrons...so you go out in the field what...once or twice a month. Hopefully you actually worked the job before becoming a sup so you understand whats its like....if not...god help your troops.

I know...I know...16 days a month x 24 hrs a day = 384 hours or the
equivalent of 30, 12.8 hour days...2 years gone out of 4...I am over 4
and spent years in the field...I know how it is...The job is one that
guys apply/volunteer for and can get very taxing in the winters...

By the way, this is my 13th Minot winter, so I have a little knowledge of the hardships...

takthekak
12-31-2010, 05:59 AM
As a matter of fact, we are in the same special duty. I applied for and was accepted due to his posting a "immediate positions open" thread a little over a year ago.

And why would you lose your patients over someone having some consideration of familes? Its the Year of the Family...

The Secretary and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force named July 2009 - Jul 2010, Year of the Air Force Family. The Year of the Air Force Family will provide leaders at all levels a vehicle to communicate information and data to Airmen, family members, surrounding communities and DOD audiences on the variety and scope of programs offered by the Air Force. The Year of the Air Force Family will be used to highlight the many successful programs already in place and to inform Airmen and their families of the development of new programs, unveiling them throughout the year.

takthekak
12-31-2010, 03:24 PM
I was just screwing with ya, I KNOW you know how it is, i've read some of your post; And you're right this a volunteer special duty, so i'm not complaining, truth be told, i rather enjoy the time away from home, unless my wife asks. Thanks for posting that "immediate openings" thread last year BTW, would have never known this job existed.

I kind of figured you were...I mean we are in the forum I started called
"Minot; where easy is hard" :-) Like most special duties, after the first couple
years, the job wears on you...after the 3rd and 4th most people can't wait
to return to their jobs...The wife part is funny, because the time apart sometimes
weirdly helps some marriages...a recent guy came to the office and the wife
complained in jest about having to deal with him all the time now and not getting
any breaks from him...There are others though who it's a strain on...but I remind them that deployments overseas would be straining them every year in their career field...This job is what people make it, I have seen STEP promotions from
this job, so the sky is the limit. Thanks for stepping up in this special duty capacity and being deployed in place without any deployment credit, family seperation allowance, or really any benefit to the special duty. Trust me though, the nation is grateful for the service you provide, as am I. Have a great New Years and I wish you all the best!!!

takthekak
01-05-2011, 07:06 AM
Nothing in this old article actually came about...

New command wants airmen for nuclear mission
By Michael Hoffman - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Aug 17, 2009 13:12:54 EDT

Nukes are today’s “it” job in the Air Force. Higher pay, better training, and faster promotions are all in the pipeline,
which top leaders are betting will get airmen to put Minot, Malmstrom, F.E. Warren, Barksdale and Offutt — all
bases that have nuclear-related jobs — at the top of their dream sheets, not at the bottom. By the end of next year,
the service wants to add 2,500 airmen to its nuclear mission, reorganized and re-energized under the new Global
Strike Command. “Bringing a new major command on line tells airmen that the nuclear mission has a long-term
place in the Air Force,” Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told reporters Aug. 5, two days before Global Strike
Command stood up at Barksdale Air Force Base, the command’s new headquarters. All the attention to the nuclear
enterprise is for good reason: Not much had been paid to it for the last 20 years. Without a Soviet Union, the threat
was certainly less — as was the sense of doing important work. Airmen fled the nuke jobs, looking for greater career
opportunities and more pleasant places to live than North Dakota in the dead of winter. Now, though, Schwartz lists
the nuclear mission as his No. 1 priority. And in the same week that the Air Force stood up Global Strike Command,
in a move reminiscent of the Cold War, Russia sent nuclear-powered submarines to patrol international waters — off
the East Coast. The hard sell Schwartz knew the Air Force had to restore the importance and integrity of the nuclear
mission if it was ever going convince airmen to take or — perhaps more importantly — want the jobs. They had to
know that a nuclear assignment was as prestigious as Iraq and Afghanistan. “I think fundamentally the bottom line
is that retention has a lot to do with perceptions of how important people’s work is and how worthy that work is,” he
said. The mission’s standing hit a low two years ago with the disclosure of two major incidents — the mistaken transfer
of six nuclear warheads from Minot in North Dakota to Barksdale in Louisiana in August 2007 and the March 2006
shipment of four nuclear fuses to Taiwan. Investigators blamed the incidents on a lack of focus — by both the service
and the airmen doing the work. “Nuclear was in a sense important, but in some ways a secondary mission in a post-Cold
War environment,” said Air Force Secretary Michael Donley. So Schwartz and Donley set out to shore up the mission by
putting its U.S. nuclear components — missile, B-52 and B-2 wings, the 576th Operational Test Squadron and the 625th
Strategic Operations Squadron — under one new major command. The units went to Air Combat Command and Air Force
Space Command after Strategic Air Command was disbanded in 1992. The reorganization took almost a year. “I think
we’ve worked very hard to make it clear to those who will serve in this command that their work is, in fact, important to
the country’s defense and that it will continue to be so for an extended period,” Schwartz said.

Read the rest of the story here ... (http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/08/airforce_nuclear_081709w/)

Sunshine52
01-05-2011, 07:03 PM
Nothing in this old article actually came about...

New command wants airmen for nuclear mission
By Michael Hoffman - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Aug 17, 2009 13:12:54 EDT

Nukes are today’s “it” job in the Air Force. Higher pay, better training, and faster promotions are all in the pipeline,
which top leaders are betting will get airmen to put Minot, Malmstrom, F.E. Warren, Barksdale and Offutt — all
bases that have nuclear-related jobs — at the top of their dream sheets, not at the bottom. ...[/URL]

I agree. Nothing has changed.

The nuclear business is still one to avoid IMHO. Double the work-load for dual tasked wings like Minot, Baksdale and Whiteman... unrelenting inspection regime (NSIs, ORIs, in addition the conventional inspections) plus all the pre-inspection exercises, no relief from deployments, no added pay, PRP requirements, no promotion benefits, poor locations, and the chance of lossing your job and career if someone three levels beneath you screws up.

takthekak
01-13-2011, 05:09 AM
http://www.minot.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123238068

Long story short...blah blah blah...Minot you are the #1 priority for mission and
#1000000000000 priority for adding any incentives

Sunshine52
01-14-2011, 01:32 AM
http://www.minot.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123238068

Long story short...blah blah blah...Minot you are the #1 priority for mission and
#1000000000000 priority for adding any incentives

"General Stewart said because of the high demands of the nuclear enterprise and the crushing operations tempo here, he wanted Airmen to know the Air Force appreciates the work they do here.

"We are here to take care of you," General Stewart said regarding the mission of AFPC."

Yeah.. tell that to Col Westa, Ayers or the dozens of other officers and SNCOs who had their careers ended while serving at Minot.

takthekak
01-30-2011, 09:21 PM
http://www.minotdailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/551377/Homicide-victims-identified.html?nav=5010

ROAD
01-30-2011, 09:40 PM
http://www.minotdailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/551377/Homicide-victims-identified.html?nav=5010

At least the two pets escaped unharmed.

Seriously, why did they put that in the article, who gives a shit if the cats lived or not.

HydroMagic
01-30-2011, 09:59 PM
Quick find was quick! Article was just posted today...that's more killings in one night than there has been here in like 50 years! Okay I'm exaggerating...Minot is starting to get overwhelmed by all the outsiders...between the growing base and the oil companies it will loose some of its small town "charm".

takthekak
01-31-2011, 02:04 AM
At least the two pets escaped unharmed.

Seriously, why did they put that in the article, who gives a shit if the cats lived or not.

PETA......

Sunshine52
02-01-2011, 06:55 AM
'Minot is so safe, I like being able to leave my door unlocked and not worry about the kids outside...'

So much for that theory.

takthekak
02-18-2011, 03:25 AM
Perfection can be deadly
Posted 2/16/2011

Commentary by A Team Minot Airman
5th Bomb Wing

2/16/2011 - MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- I'm so fat; so ugly and disgusting. How could anyone even want to speak to me? How could anyone ever love me? I must be perfect, no matter what it takes. And I don't care if my methods hurt me.

These are just a few of the thoughts that run through my head when I look in the mirror; and these are usually on a good day.

So what would cause a person to think such horrible things? Why would someone think they need to be perfect all the time, in every way possible? How exhausting life is when trying to attain something so impossible. But it never mattered to me. My appearance was more important than anything, even my health.

For me, it all started in college. I went to school ... Read the rest of the story here. (http://www.minot.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123243020)


[Editor's note: The author of this article has requested to remain anonymous as she is currently in treatment.]

Comments
2/16/2011 7:07:06 PM ET
Interesting story title from a base where Perfection is the Standard
Tak, USAF

takthekak
02-18-2011, 05:11 PM
Minot AFB has $513.7 million economic impact on local community
February 18, 2011 - By ELOISE OGDEN

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE Minot Air Force Base had an economic impact of slightly more
than half a billion dollars on the local community in fiscal year 2010.

The base's annual economic impact analysis was released Thursday at the Minot Area Chamber
of Commerce's Military Affairs Committee meeting. The meeting was held in Minot's Grand
International Inn.

Lt. Col. Barry Eddins, commander of the base's 5th Comptroller Squadron, who presented the
report, announced the base's 2010 fiscal year economic impact was $513.7 million.

To see the rest click here:

http://www.minotdailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/552023/Minot-AFB-has--513-7-million-economic-impact-on-local-community.html?nav=5010

Zero
02-19-2011, 02:42 AM
I was stationed at Grand Forks AFB in North Dakota for 2 years.. that place flat out sucks too. For SrA and below in the dorms, that place is a living hell. All you NCO's and SNCO's say its the best place ever cause you have kids and don't do anything when you get off work or on the weekend. I was a first term airman there and let me just say i saw so many airmen GET OUT of the AF because of that base. It drives you literally crazy, you get off work and there isn't shit to do so you go back to your dorm room and watch tv and go to bed, that's it. Then you get all these Nco's/Snco's that say "The problem is airman sitting in their dorm rooms and not doing anything" Maybe because we have nothing to come home to or look forward to when we get off work. I hear Grand Forks AFB is better than Minot AFB but the base still sucks and you are still in NORTH DAKOTA. Back to the base, it sucks. They have a decent bowling alley (what afb doesnt) and that's about it. The NCO's think the base is the best thing known to man because the schools are safe and their aren't many black people in ND. If you are under 25, this base/town is just depressing. No airman WANT to be here, everyone bitches about it and with good reason to. I've known so many good Airman that just couldn't handle the bullshit of ND/The Base/Nco's/SNCO's. This base ruins Airman, enough said. Don't believe me? there are Statistical FACTS that prove it is one of the highest drop out rates for First Term Airman. Rant over.

Shrike
02-19-2011, 05:02 AM
I was stationed at Grand Forks AFB in North Dakota for 2 years.. that place flat out sucks too. For SrA and below in the dorms, that place is a living hell. All you NCO's and SNCO's say its the best place ever cause you have kids and don't do anything when you get off work or on the weekend. I was a first term airman there and let me just say i saw so many airmen GET OUT of the AF because of that base. It drives you literally crazy, you get off work and there isn't shit to do so you go back to your dorm room and watch tv and go to bed, that's it. Then you get all these Nco's/Snco's that say "The problem is airman sitting in their dorm rooms and not doing anything" Maybe because we have nothing to come home to or look forward to when we get off work. I hear Grand Forks AFB is better than Minot AFB but the base still sucks and you are still in NORTH DAKOTA. Back to the base, it sucks. They have a decent bowling alley (what afb doesnt) and that's about it. The NCO's think the base is the best thing known to man because the schools are safe and their aren't many black people in ND. If you are under 25, this base/town is just depressing. No airman WANT to be here, everyone bitches about it and with good reason to. I've known so many good Airman that just couldn't handle the bullshit of ND/The Base/Nco's/SNCO's. This base ruins Airman, enough said. Don't believe me? there are Statistical FACTS that prove it is one of the highest drop out rates for First Term Airman. Rant over.

And this has exactly what to do with Minot?

Zero
02-19-2011, 05:39 AM
Shrike,

Bases in ND suck and are a nightmare to be at.. that's about it.

anything else from your peanut gallery of thoughts?

takthekak
02-19-2011, 05:43 AM
Grand Forks does suck, but not the same as Minot suck...
Grand Forks has no planes and a future larger UAV mission...
Minot has 2/3rds of the Nuclear triad (Buffs and Missiles) which
equals a big ass nightmare of inspection schedules (NORI, CI, NSI, CCE, etc)
and 99.9% is not good enough, because perfection is the standard, even
though the AF standard is excellence in all we do.

Zero
02-19-2011, 05:49 AM
Well when i was there we did have planes, the flying squadron just left in December. In Actuality the Predator is a classified as a plane tho it is a UAV. The Global Hawk (UAV) will be getting there in the spring as well. I Agree with what you said about Nuke stuff, we just got done with an ORI/NORI in 2009. I think 99.9 % isn't good enough is usually an Air Force standard, they will always bitch about that. I also hear Minot has more things to do up there tho it is worse.

takthekak
02-19-2011, 05:52 AM
Well when i was there we did have planes, the flying squadron just left in December. In Actuality the Predator is a classified as a plane tho it is a UAV. The Global Hawk (UAV) will be getting there in the spring as well. I Agree with what you said about Nuke stuff, we just got done with an ORI/NORI in 2009. I think 99.9 % isn't good enough is usually an Air Force standard, they will always bitch about that. I also hear Minot has more things to do up there tho it is worse.

Like I was saying...planes left in December...that may fly the predator now with the Guard...but were selected to ramp up UAVs in a few years BUT the place is a ghost town now...There is much more to do there, better stores and restaraunts, place Fargo, Minneapolis and Winnipeg are closer to Grand Forks...

Shrike
02-19-2011, 01:06 PM
Shrike,

Bases in ND suck and are a nightmare to be at.. that's about it.

anything else from your peanut gallery of thoughts?
There should be more boobs on TV?

takthekak
03-12-2011, 10:41 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/03/12/troopers-800-motorists-rescued-nd-blizzard/#

takthekak
03-13-2011, 04:51 AM
http://minotdailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/552765/Man-found-stabbed-to-death-in-Minot.html?nav=5010

takthekak
03-22-2011, 04:09 AM
Tonight: Windy with showers early changing to a light wintry mix overnight. Low near 30F. Winds E at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of precip 80%. Snow accumulations less than one inch.

Tomorrow: Snowy and windy. Snow will become heavy at times during the afternoon. High 31F. Winds E at 20 to 30 mph. 6 to 10 inches of snow expected.

Tomorrow night: Periods of snow. Low 22F. Winds ENE at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of snow 70%. 2 to 4 inches of snow expected.

Wednesday: Light snow during the morning will transition to snow showers during the afternoon. Cold. High 23F. Winds NNE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 60%. 1 to 3 inches of snow expected.

imported_Shove_your_stupid_meeting
03-22-2011, 04:21 AM
Only the best go there. I mean, the sign says so.

takthekak
03-22-2011, 11:57 PM
A BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM CDT WEDNESDAY.

* EXPECT SNOW...HEAVY AT TIMES...TONIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY. TOTAL SNOWFALL
AMOUNTS OF 12 TO 18 INCHES ARE EXPECTED.

* AN EAST WIND GUSTING OVER 40 MILES...COMBINED WITH HEAVY
SNOW...IS CREATING BLIZZARD CONDITIONS WITH NEAR ZERO
VISIBILITIES. THESE CONDITIONS WILL CONTINUE AT LEAST THROUGH
THIS EVENING.

* TRAVEL IS EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS...IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A BLIZZARD WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. FALLING AND BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS
AND POOR VISIBILITIES ARE LIKELY. THIS WILL LEAD TO WHITEOUT
CONDITIONS...MAKING TRAVEL EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. DO NOT TRAVEL. IF
YOU MUST TRAVEL...HAVE A WINTER SURVIVAL KIT WITH YOU. IF YOU GET
STRANDED...STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE.

imported_Shove_your_stupid_meeting
03-23-2011, 03:02 AM
It is what you make of it.

Shrike
03-23-2011, 04:21 AM
It is what you make of it.

A really big f@#king snowman?

:biggrin

bb stacker
03-23-2011, 11:45 AM
or do what an airman here did when i snowed, make an outline of a really big cock :)

supervision was thrilled with that one...

Shrike
03-23-2011, 12:01 PM
or do what an airman here did when i snowed, make an outline of a really big cock :)

supervision was thrilled with that one...

Why were you snowing?

;)

bb stacker
03-23-2011, 12:11 PM
some guy out the back gate sold it to me

Sunshine52
06-24-2011, 01:28 PM
Just to show that things at Minot aer as bad as leadership tells you there not. The official "Caring for People report" from Minot AFB.

"CARING FOR PEOPLE FORUM


Where: MDG CC Conference Room

When: 13 May 2011

Agenda: Open Discussion on Caring for People Initiative

DVs: 5 MDOS/SGOW, 5 MDG/CCF, 5 MDG/CCF, 5 MDG/SGOW, 5 MDG/SGA, 5 MDOS/SGOH, 5 FSS/FSFR, 5 BW/CVK, 5 FSS/FSFR


Data Sources: March 2011 CoRC Wing CC Snapshot Report, January 2011 Family Advocacy Program Community Assessment Report, 2010 CAIB Meeting Minutes,2010 IDS Meeting Minutes, 2010 AFSO 21 Airmen Interviews, 5 BW Chief Interview, May 2011 Caring for People Working Group, 2009 Community Assessment Report

IDENTIFIED ISSUES

The following issues were elevated to the MAJCOM for consideration:

1. Ops Tempo: Dual-wing, dual-mission nuclear base will always have a higher than average ops tempo. However, inspection/exercise/DV visit cycle is exacerbated at Minot by limited seasonal period during which families and AD members can travel/ vacation due to weather.
2. Isolation: “CONUS Remote Tour”: Minot is a 30-mile round trip from the base, making it difficult for folks who live on either end to take advantage of all the town or base has to offer, particularly during the harsh winter, which lasts up to 7-8 months of the year. Additionally, remote/rural location limits some entertainment option. Problem is most pronounced in the <21 year old population for options, and in the >21 population often manifested in overuse of alcohol as an entertainment source.
3. AFPC Assignment Fills: Referencing back to the “CONUS Remote” syndrome, Minot is plagued not only by its Northern Tier reputation but also unofficial AF-wide negative connotations. Minot is often the “last choice” not only of its future residents but also as the joke used by TIs, recruiters, and AFPC when telling people of their assignment (“well, at least it’s not Minot”). As such, many of the assignment fills come from the dual ends of the spectrum: “first-termers”, (whether it’s airmen or officers) and those who “Retire On Active Duty” on arrival, or who opt to retire vice accepting an assignment to Minot. This results in a dearth of experience at a base which arguably requires some of the most seasoned to ensure safe and reliable nuclear operations. A final concern with AFPC assignments to Minot is the manner in which the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is managed. The EFMP process is fragmented and too cumbersome; AFPC has been slow to react both to assignment and reassignment of EFMs to/from Minot.
4. Housing Availability: North Dakota is one of the fastest growing states in the nation, especially in the Western portion where Minot is located. This is predominantly due to the current oil boom. As a result, housing and lodging facilities are overwhelmed by the military and oil industry customers, especially during the peak summer PCS cycle. This has resulted in sky-rocketing housing prices and non-availability at local hotels. As indidivuals PCS into Minot, many are having to make arrangements anywhere from 50-100 miles from the base until either base housing or downtown housing becomes available, which can take months. This difficulty is particularly cumbersome for the inbound junior NCOs, looking for a reasonably-priced home in downtown Minot due to non-availability on base for NCO housing in general, or for any single AD members who don’t reside in the dorms.
5. Financial Issues: As referenced in #4 above, North Dakota’s economy is experiencing a boom. As a result, the current AF compensation levels are not on par with the current pace of ND realities. Potential exists for a COLA to help Airmen stay on par with housing and living expenses in this expanding community. Financial concerns are further exacerbated by the fact that the location is still a rural and remote one, making travel and other living expenses exceedingly high (e.g. average cost of an airline ticket for a CONUS trip is $650--a family of four couldn’t vacation for less than $3K in airfare alone; fuel costs continue to rise—closest significant city is 300 miles away; housing/rents are exceeding BAH rates). Finally, Minot remains a small town, with not many career or employment opportunities outside of the oil fields for the transient military population, often making the AD member the sole provider for the family.
6. Child Services: Child care availability is scarce, and costs are high. Also, EFM support is very limited in the local community. Schools and teacher resources are often inadequate and unable to cope with or provide for the needs of EFMs, resulting in broken relationships between schools and parents.
7. Weather: While acknowledging that the weather will not change, it remains a pertinent issue for Minot AFB residents. The long winter not only results in notable mood and morale concerns, but is also a financial burden with the added winterizing expenses for cars and homes. Alluded to before, members are de-motivated to participate in activities during the winter months, and travel is difficult , if not impossible, even between Minot and the base. Finally, our dorms are inadequate for the winter weather; residents do not have covered parking or the ability to plug-in their cars.
8. Additional Resources: As with most problems, additional resources available for morale and quality of life improvements would aid most concerns, if not alleviate them entirely. Regarding morale activities, efforts could be made to bring in entertainment options (e.g. concert series), and regarding quality of life activities, funds could be used to alleviate some of the added expenses at Minot (e.g. childcare).



The following issues remain at installation level for review and resolution:

1. Tracking Number/Issue: Relationship Issues—There is concern that relationships of all kinds suffer as a result of some of the Minot realities. For example, the days-long deployments for MW families, especially during the winter months, often wears on marriages. There is a lack of individual couple counseling services and limited support services to help families cope. Additionally, Minot is a historically Caucasian area, and there are some concerns that minority members assigned to Minot face additional challenges in the local community. Another example is that due to the small size of the local community, there are a lack of dating options and opportunities for the single members assigned to Minot. (As this is a first assignment for many AD personnel, many are single.) All of these concerns are exacerbated by the PRP stigma, and the unwillingness of many on PRP to come forward and ask for help in coping with these various concerns.
Scope: Education & Skills Development
Proposed resolution: Leadership support of time off work for members to attend relationship classes/retreats and funds to provide on-sight daycare/childcare, food and door prizes. Mental Health will continue to expand unit and site visits to take the counseling services to the members and offer them in a less clinical setting.
OPR/OCR: IDS Team

2. Tracking Number/Issue: Deployed/Deployed in Place Family Support—Given the austere location, deployed families often require more aid than in more urban or climate-friendly locations (e.g. snow shoveling, travel to town, etc).
Scope: Enhance sense of community
Proposed resolution: Increase leadership, first sergeant, key spouse and supervisory support to families.
OPR/OCR: Commanders"

loader67
06-24-2011, 01:59 PM
Minot is often the “last choice” not only of its future residents but also as the joke used by TIs, recruiters, and AFPC when telling people of their assignment (“well, at least it’s not Minot”).

And the Wing Weapons Manager telling a person (me) when they first arrive "this is where they send MSgt's to make them retire."

imported_Shove_your_stupid_meeting
06-25-2011, 02:03 AM
A really big f@#king snowman?

:biggrin


As a survivor of the experience, I'm surprised that hearing "it is what you make of it" hasn't led to the death of anyone up there yet. Out of any assignment, that's one place where I tink leadership needs to lay off that s*#%.

LC-45
06-25-2011, 02:20 AM
Minot, cannon & Barksdale are the hardest to fill assignments in the lower 48. Each have a 75% Retirement rate for SNCO's after 13 Months.

Wonder why they ask "Why not Minot"?

Airborne
06-25-2011, 09:25 AM
Just to show that things at Minot aer as bad as leadership tells you there not. The official "Caring for People report" from Minot AFB.

[/I]

Does every base do one of these. I would be interested to see one for Cannon for example.

AeroNut
06-25-2011, 06:07 PM
"Why not Minot"?

I hear the reason's freezin'.

Measure Man
06-25-2011, 06:20 PM
Just to show that things at Minot aer as bad as leadership tells you there not. The official "Caring for People report" from Minot AFB.

"CARING FOR PEOPLE FORUM


Where: MDG CC Conference Room

When: 13 May 2011

Agenda: Open Discussion on Caring for People Initiative

DVs: 5 MDOS/SGOW, 5 MDG/CCF, 5 MDG/CCF, 5 MDG/SGOW, 5 MDG/SGA, 5 MDOS/SGOH, 5 FSS/FSFR, 5 BW/CVK, 5 FSS/FSFR


Data Sources: March 2011 CoRC Wing CC Snapshot Report, January 2011 Family Advocacy Program Community Assessment Report, 2010 CAIB Meeting Minutes,2010 IDS Meeting Minutes, 2010 AFSO 21 Airmen Interviews, 5 BW Chief Interview, May 2011 Caring for People Working Group, 2009 Community Assessment Report

IDENTIFIED ISSUES

The following issues were elevated to the MAJCOM for consideration:

1. Ops Tempo: Dual-wing, dual-mission nuclear base will always have a higher than average ops tempo. However, inspection/exercise/DV visit cycle is exacerbated at Minot by limited seasonal period during which families and AD members can travel/ vacation due to weather.
2. Isolation: “CONUS Remote Tour”: Minot is a 30-mile round trip from the base, making it difficult for folks who live on either end to take advantage of all the town or base has to offer, particularly during the harsh winter, which lasts up to 7-8 months of the year. Additionally, remote/rural location limits some entertainment option. Problem is most pronounced in the <21 year old population for options, and in the >21 population often manifested in overuse of alcohol as an entertainment source.
3. AFPC Assignment Fills: Referencing back to the “CONUS Remote” syndrome, Minot is plagued not only by its Northern Tier reputation but also unofficial AF-wide negative connotations. Minot is often the “last choice” not only of its future residents but also as the joke used by TIs, recruiters, and AFPC when telling people of their assignment (“well, at least it’s not Minot”). As such, many of the assignment fills come from the dual ends of the spectrum: “first-termers”, (whether it’s airmen or officers) and those who “Retire On Active Duty” on arrival, or who opt to retire vice accepting an assignment to Minot. This results in a dearth of experience at a base which arguably requires some of the most seasoned to ensure safe and reliable nuclear operations. A final concern with AFPC assignments to Minot is the manner in which the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is managed. The EFMP process is fragmented and too cumbersome; AFPC has been slow to react both to assignment and reassignment of EFMs to/from Minot.
4. Housing Availability: North Dakota is one of the fastest growing states in the nation, especially in the Western portion where Minot is located. This is predominantly due to the current oil boom. As a result, housing and lodging facilities are overwhelmed by the military and oil industry customers, especially during the peak summer PCS cycle. This has resulted in sky-rocketing housing prices and non-availability at local hotels. As indidivuals PCS into Minot, many are having to make arrangements anywhere from 50-100 miles from the base until either base housing or downtown housing becomes available, which can take months. This difficulty is particularly cumbersome for the inbound junior NCOs, looking for a reasonably-priced home in downtown Minot due to non-availability on base for NCO housing in general, or for any single AD members who don’t reside in the dorms.
5. Financial Issues: As referenced in #4 above, North Dakota’s economy is experiencing a boom. As a result, the current AF compensation levels are not on par with the current pace of ND realities. Potential exists for a COLA to help Airmen stay on par with housing and living expenses in this expanding community. Financial concerns are further exacerbated by the fact that the location is still a rural and remote one, making travel and other living expenses exceedingly high (e.g. average cost of an airline ticket for a CONUS trip is $650--a family of four couldn’t vacation for less than $3K in airfare alone; fuel costs continue to rise—closest significant city is 300 miles away; housing/rents are exceeding BAH rates). Finally, Minot remains a small town, with not many career or employment opportunities outside of the oil fields for the transient military population, often making the AD member the sole provider for the family.
6. Child Services: Child care availability is scarce, and costs are high. Also, EFM support is very limited in the local community. Schools and teacher resources are often inadequate and unable to cope with or provide for the needs of EFMs, resulting in broken relationships between schools and parents.
7. Weather: While acknowledging that the weather will not change, it remains a pertinent issue for Minot AFB residents. The long winter not only results in notable mood and morale concerns, but is also a financial burden with the added winterizing expenses for cars and homes. Alluded to before, members are de-motivated to participate in activities during the winter months, and travel is difficult , if not impossible, even between Minot and the base. Finally, our dorms are inadequate for the winter weather; residents do not have covered parking or the ability to plug-in their cars.
8. Additional Resources: As with most problems, additional resources available for morale and quality of life improvements would aid most concerns, if not alleviate them entirely. Regarding morale activities, efforts could be made to bring in entertainment options (e.g. concert series), and regarding quality of life activities, funds could be used to alleviate some of the added expenses at Minot (e.g. childcare).



The following issues remain at installation level for review and resolution:

1. Tracking Number/Issue: Relationship Issues—There is concern that relationships of all kinds suffer as a result of some of the Minot realities. For example, the days-long deployments for MW families, especially during the winter months, often wears on marriages. There is a lack of individual couple counseling services and limited support services to help families cope. Additionally, Minot is a historically Caucasian area, and there are some concerns that minority members assigned to Minot face additional challenges in the local community. Another example is that due to the small size of the local community, there are a lack of dating options and opportunities for the single members assigned to Minot. (As this is a first assignment for many AD personnel, many are single.) All of these concerns are exacerbated by the PRP stigma, and the unwillingness of many on PRP to come forward and ask for help in coping with these various concerns.
Scope: Education & Skills Development
Proposed resolution: Leadership support of time off work for members to attend relationship classes/retreats and funds to provide on-sight daycare/childcare, food and door prizes. Mental Health will continue to expand unit and site visits to take the counseling services to the members and offer them in a less clinical setting.
OPR/OCR: IDS Team

2. Tracking Number/Issue: Deployed/Deployed in Place Family Support—Given the austere location, deployed families often require more aid than in more urban or climate-friendly locations (e.g. snow shoveling, travel to town, etc).
Scope: Enhance sense of community
Proposed resolution: Increase leadership, first sergeant, key spouse and supervisory support to families.
OPR/OCR: Commanders"

Man, that is depressing.

I'm amazed they don't have a place to plug in cars at the dorms...we had that at Grand Forks way back in the early 80s. Starting your car at -60 without a block heater plugged in ain't gonna work too well.

I was impressed that leadership acutally thought about the dating/socializing needs of their single Airmen. Most of these things are all about "family programs." Of course the solution...bring in some juicy girls to the club!

imported_Shove_your_stupid_meeting
06-25-2011, 06:29 PM
Man, that is depressing.

I'm amazed they don't have a place to plug in cars at the dorms...we had that at Grand Forks way back in the early 80s.


I could have sworn they did a little over a decade ago. Hhhmmm...

ChiefB
06-25-2011, 08:49 PM
So, how is the base faring during all the flooding?

Sunshine52
09-26-2011, 07:53 PM
Adding to the suck that is Minot, it has now become a remote tour... at least for awhile.

9/21/2011 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) -- Minot Air Force Base, N.D., is now a non-concurrent travel location because of a continuing off-base housing shortage, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced.

Minot AFB is still under the stop movement order established when heavy flooding occurred in June, so this designation gives Airmen more family options when planning a permanent change of station to Minot AFB, said Bill Warner, the AFPC chief of assignment programs and procedures.

The order does not impact technical training graduates and new accessions who do not have dependent family members, but all others must get authorization to proceed. Authorization messages, which will be e-mailed from Minot AFB's military personnel section to the member's servicing personnel section, will also provide the concurrent travel decision and anticipated family travel delay.

Airmen's options depend on how long their families' travel will be delayed and on whether they are moving from a stateside or overseas location.

For members moving from a stateside location, if family travel is delayed for less than 20 weeks, family members are expected to stay at the current location until their travel is approved, Warner said.

"If they move," he added, "the government will not pay for that move."

Members whose families are delayed for more than 20 weeks have a couple of options, though. They may either stay at their current location or relocate to a designated location at government expense, Warner said.

Overseas returnees who are approved for non-concurrent travel have two options regardless of the length of their travel delay. Families can stay at the overseas location (which requires an approved dependents remaining overseas request), or they can move to a designated location at government expense.

Whatever their situation, family travel information will be spelled out, so Airmen must check their travel orders to ensure their situation is clearly identified and matches Minot AFB's designation.

"Regardless of family travel status, once Airmen are authorized to proceed to Minot AFB, they must meet their established reporting dates," Warner said. "Airmen must not move their families to Minot (AFB) without authorization reflected on their PCS orders or amendments. Once they have secured housing, they can work with the Minot (AFB) MPS to get an amendment to their orders."

Airmen who do not follow these procedures may lose government travel entitlements, Warner stressed.

Airmen who were authorized before Sept. 12 to move with their families may still proceed to Minot AFB, Warner said. All others must follow the new travel restrictions.

For more information about the stop movement order and non-concurrent permanent change of station to Minot AFB, Airmen should contact their current personnel section.

For information about other personnel issues, visit the Air Force Personnel Services website at https://gum-crm.csd.disa.mil. www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123272973 (http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123272973)

Tak
11-12-2011, 02:57 PM
Minot still sucking, big time

weezy
11-14-2011, 04:49 AM
Minot still sucking, big time

Tell me about. There is absolutely no where to live off base.

imported_Shove_your_stupid_meeting
11-14-2011, 08:17 PM
Tell me about. There is absolutely no where to live off base.

Not even the trailer park by the Pizza Hut delivery place? :tongue:

Kicker47
11-14-2011, 09:27 PM
Not even the trailer park by the Pizza Hut delivery place? :tongue:

The bustling metropolis of Ruthville. When I (finally) PCS'd from Minot last year, we sold our house for almost twice what we paid for it. I feel sorry for the guy that bought it, too, because it was only a few blocks from the river, and it was really old. Hopefully, he had flood insurance!

weezy
11-14-2011, 10:16 PM
The bustling metropolis of Ruthville. When I (finally) PCS'd from Minot last year, we sold our house for almost twice what we paid for it. I feel sorry for the guy that bought it, too, because it was only a few blocks from the river, and it was really old. Hopefully, he had flood insurance!

Probably didn't, because a lot of the insurance companies didn't offer it.

Airborne
11-14-2011, 10:40 PM
Tell me about. There is absolutely no where to live off base.

If this was anywhere else, and especially if the base was a desirable place to live, the DoD would have written it off and moved the assets somewhere else long ago.

weezy
11-14-2011, 10:43 PM
Not even the trailer park by the Pizza Hut delivery place? :tongue:

Screw Ruthville! It's because of their god danm post office that we don't get COLA.

Kicker47
11-15-2011, 02:06 PM
Screw Ruthville! It's because of their god danm post office that we don't get COLA.

I've heard that for years...I think that's just an urban legend...I don't think there actually is a PO in Ruthville...

weezy
11-16-2011, 03:31 PM
http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2011/11/air-force-australia-expansion-111611w/

Maybe we'll start rotating to Australia as well as Guam.

Kicker47
11-16-2011, 05:21 PM
http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2011/11/air-force-australia-expansion-111611w/

Maybe we'll start rotating to Australia as well as Guam.



That just makes it worse for the ICBM and Muns guys at Minot that can't go anywhere...they just get to stand there and gawk jealously while the Bomber and Support guys get on planes to Australia and Guam... :wave

Tak
02-10-2012, 05:29 AM
Minot 5bw just passed their nuclear surety inspection, but you won't see any news stories touting it,
Except for on minots base page.

Tak
02-10-2012, 05:32 AM
http://www.minot.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123289317

ChiefB
02-10-2012, 06:54 AM
Minot 5bw just passed their nuclear surety inspection, but you won't see any news stories touting it,
Except for on minots base page.

Congrats to "Why-not", 5thBW. Now maybe the AF will get off their backs and get some decent housing in there to accommodate waiting families.

Kicker47
02-10-2012, 07:31 PM
Congrats! Have a bunch of friends up there that have been turned into walking zombies before/during this inspection. Now they should have some time to focus on the important things, like PT!

Tak
02-10-2012, 10:55 PM
Congrats! Have a bunch of friends up there that have been turned into walking zombies before/during this inspection. Now they should have some time to focus on the important things, like PT!

Nope, no rest...time to prep for cce, ci or cui.

HydroMagic
02-11-2012, 01:56 AM
Congrats to "Why-not", 5thBW. Now maybe the AF will get off their backs and get some decent housing in there to accommodate waiting families.

Unfortunately no...now we'll just gear up for another inspection. The housing problem is mostly out of the AF's control. Most of the housing hardship came from the summer flood, many homes still aren't fixed yet, and they can't make up all that housing on the base alone. Many of the people coming here without families just got their assignment cancelled anyways. Our misfortune was the best thing to happen to those inbound.

However, the BAH raise was much needed, and we got it quick. So someone did something right.

ChiefB
02-11-2012, 03:30 AM
Unfortunately no...now we'll just gear up for another inspection. The housing problem is mostly out of the AF's control. Most of the housing hardship came from the summer flood, many homes still aren't fixed yet, and they can't make up all that housing on the base alone. Many of the people coming here without families just got their assignment cancelled anyways. Our misfortune was the best thing to happen to those inbound.

However, the BAH raise was much needed, and we got it quick. So someone did something right.

All the hardships make the passing of the Surety Inspection all that more remarkable.

I'm glad to hear that the Finance weenies came through in the pinch.

How's the missile side doing?

Best of luck to y'all.

Tak
02-11-2012, 03:46 AM
All the hardships make the passing of the Surety Inspection all that more remarkable.

I'm glad to hear that the Finance weenies came through in the pinch.

How's the missile side doing?

Best of luck to y'all.

As the missile side in under inspection now, it is not appropriate to comment at this time.

Blue Warrior
02-11-2012, 03:57 AM
I'd be proud to go to Minot. Someone needs to go, so might as well be me!

Tak
02-14-2012, 04:37 PM
Both wings at minot passed.

AFone
02-14-2012, 05:49 PM
Both wings at minot passed.

That used to be fairly routine at Minot. After all, there wasn't much to do except inspection prep.

Kicker47
02-14-2012, 05:53 PM
Both wings at minot passed.

Like someone else said...this should be on af.mil...considering it is a huge part of the "Air Force's #1 Priority"...but it won't be. :twitch

Tak
02-17-2012, 02:59 PM
http://www.minotdailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/563118/Missile-wing-receives-highest-nuclear-surety-inspection.html?nav=5010

Tak
02-17-2012, 07:19 PM
http://www.minot.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123290276

Juggs
07-16-2013, 12:39 PM
Minot, where easy is easy unless you're a pussy.

imported_Shove_your_stupid_meeting
07-17-2013, 02:22 AM
I thought it was where the guy to girl ratio is 5:1 and you're a lock to get sloppy seconds more than once.

imported_Shove_your_stupid_meeting
07-17-2013, 02:56 AM
Truth

poindexter
07-18-2013, 02:05 PM
Who doesn't love article 15's???

http://www.minot.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123356230

That's awesome!! I LOVE IT HERE!! Only the best come North!!

RobotChicken
07-18-2013, 02:14 PM
Who doesn't love article 15's???

http://www.minot.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123356230

"We had 6,000 + guys on our bird farm and NEVER had that much crap in an year!! How many AD at Minot??" (maybe 6 at most, Captains mast for being late for watch,etc chickenshit mostly, but we did have one slasher but he was medivacted from the ship..fell down a few decks on the way to the brig...)

RobotChicken
07-19-2013, 01:34 AM
Too many navy dudes speaking sea jargon in air force forum.

"You got a 'point there' 'GF'! But! You Zoomie's never landed a C-130 on a bird farm either!!"(the C-130 is at the Naval Air Museum; not like your aircraft of historical value all scrapped and having to search the world over for 'fakes' to fill your museums up with!") 'Ole 666' comes to mind....

RobotChicken
07-19-2013, 02:05 AM
O hell no, you guys just starting flying remote control zoomie machines on aircraft carriers.
Better not have any sex nose art, Damn salty full speed ahead Brown shoe khaki suckas!!!

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/07/17/new-navy-drone-flubs-2-more-landing-attempts.aspx

"Naval Aviators; Only the best, and our seas our full of them...many of our family's friends from '41 till today, my brothers USNA room mate went down in a S-3 in '79, Bob goes EVERY YEAR at X-mas to see Chary's parents to this day."(now that is loyalty)

RobotChicken
07-19-2013, 02:27 AM
Thanks for miseducating me. Go Navy!

"And 'GO AIR FORCE!!"

RobotChicken
07-19-2013, 02:46 AM
O hell no, you guys just starting flying remote control zoomie machines on aircraft carriers.
Better not have any sex nose art, Damn salty full speed ahead Brown shoe khaki suckas!!!

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/07/17/new-navy-drone-flubs-2-more-landing-attempts.aspx

"What you 'Zoomies' haven't figured out yet is instead of building a $100 billion airbase in a country that is is going to kick you out the NAVY builds a CITY WITH AN AIRSTRIP it can move anywhere in the world and doesn't need a KC-10 for a wet nurse to fly ONE Bomber halfway across the world. (And yes my 'RA-5C' had a nose on her!)