Minot Air Force Base and its new 69th Bomb Squadron were prominently featured in a speech given by Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz to hundreds of people attending the recent Air Force Association's Global Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla.
Klotz is commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, the new command to oversee the nuclear enterprise which includes Minot AFB's B-52s and intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Klotz, who spoke at the AFA conference Feb. 22, told the audience about the standup of the Air Force's newest major command, according to Global Strike Command Public Affairs. He said the plan is to attain 'full operational capability' by the end of the summer.
Submitted Photo --
Senior Airman William Poulos and Airman 1st Class Gregory Moran, crew chiefs with the 5th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, prepare to de-ice the windows of a B-52H Stratofortress during Prairie Knight 10-1 exercise at Minot Air Force Base Feb. 11, shown in this photo by Senior Airman Jesse Lopez.
The command assumed the intercontinental ballistic missile mission Dec. 1 and the bombers Feb. 1.
Klotz said in his speech, Public Affairs officials reported, that part of that process was the reactivation of the 69th Bomb Squadron at Minot AFB in September when it became the second operational B-52 squadron at that base "thus mirroring Barksdale," which already has two operational B-52 squadrons.
Minot AFB also has the 23rd Bomb Squadron.
Command's civic leader program established
A civic leader program has been established by Air Force Global Strike Command.
Members of the program will discuss the importance of the command's mission and also give advice to Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz, commander of Global Strike Command, about issues affecting the command and their local community.
Those selected for the program from Minot are Randy Burckhard and Bruce I. Christianson, representing Minot Air Force Base and the Minot community; and Mark Jantzer, representing 20th Air Force.
The 12-member group has representatives from each base under Global Strike Command two from each base with the exception of Minot AFB and Whiteman AFB, Mo., which both have three members, said Carla Pampe, a spokeswoman for Global Strike Command at Barksdale AFB, La. She said Whiteman also has a member on the committee representing 8th Air Force.
The representatives were nominated by the commanders of the bases and numbered Air Forces.
The group will meet twice a year, once at Barksdale, command headquarters, and also at another base under the command. The first meeting will be held in conjunction with the upcoming Commander's Conference at Barksdale, said Lt. Col. John Thomas, director of Public Affairs for Global Strike Command.
"This move will help balance the workload between nuclear deterrence and conventional missions not only at Minot, but across the entire B-52 force," Klotz told his AFA audience.
More planes and people
Klotz said the new people and B-52s have begun to arrive at the Minot base in a phased deployment that will be complete by spring.
He said the action will ultimately bring 10 additional B-52s and more than 800 people to the Minot base.
During his speech to the AFA group, Klotz emphasized his command's dedication to the bomber mission and that the bombers have always been at the "heart and soul" of the U.S. Air Force since its very beginnings.
He acknowledged the bombers are "aging aircraft" and face "significant challenges in terms of sustainment of current capabilities and modernization of existing platforms to exploit their full potential in the joint fight," Global Strike Command Public Affairs officials said. He also said the bombers remain a vitally important component of the nuclear triad bombers, ICBMs and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
He also emphasized the importance of the bombers' non-nuclear or conventional capabilities, including its current actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Klotz, who was at the Minot base Feb. 1 for the 5th Bomb Wing's transfer from Air Combat Command to Global Strike Command, visited the base again this week.