GREAT FALLS- Airmen at Malmstrom Air Force Base are on alert 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
But not every job receives recognition for the important role played in maintaining the Base’s mission.
According to 1st Lieutenant Michelle Governor, officers with the 10th Missile Squadron at Malmstrom Air Force Base plan before they head out into the field.
“Whatever maintenance we have going on, whatever activities we’ll have in the field, we’ll plan how we will effectively execute all of that for the day,” Governor said.
They will then set out into the missile complex for their 24-hour post.
The Missile Alert Facility is a home away from home for the airmen for the four to five days they are posted in the field.
Tech Sergeant Chris Burnes is the facility manager at Alpha.
“We just try to keep it somewhat light-hearted, as much as we can,” he said. “But at the same time making sure the mission is done and getting the job done every day.”
Burnes handles all of the equipment for the launch control center below.
Alpha was the first launch control center to go on alert during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
“It is a historical landmark we have not changed much,” he said. “Almost everything you see here is the way it was when it was first built.”
Each facility has a living area, workout room, bedrooms, and other amenities for the men and women that work there.
“My proudest moment in the missile field is the day that I was able to house an entire convoy of 53 people,” Burnes said. “It was exciting, it was a lot to do all at once, and a lot of people to have here. It’s supporting our mission.”
Airman 1st Class Amanda Blair’s job is to ensure everyone who comes to the missile alert facility is fed during their stay.
“My favorite part about being a chef is just interacting with all the different people,” she said. “Every time I go out there is always a different crew out here, so I am always meeting new people, which is awesome.”
Blair had to go through a 29-day tech school to become a chef.
“Once we get here, we go through three tours,” she said. “They show us everything and how it pertains to the missile sites.”
Blair cooks from a set menu that the airmen can order from, but the most important part of her job is boosting morale.
“We provide the nutrition to all the deployed personnel,” Blair said. “Without us, the mission would not be able to carry on.”
From security forces to missileers, to the facility manager, to the chef, every job at the Missile Alert Facility is an important job in the mission.
The missile complex at Malmstrom Air Force Base spans 13,800-square miles and is the largest complex in the United States.