General Lord speaks to Minot Airmen
MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. (May 11, 2005) – Air Force Space Command’s top leader visited here Tuesday to tour the base and speak with Airmen about what the command is doing and where it’s headed.


By Airman 1st Class Danny Monahan, Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs
Posted Tuesday, May 17, 2005

  
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MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. (May 11, 2005) – Air Force Space Command’s top leader visited here Tuesday to tour the base and speak with Airmen about what the command is doing and where it’s headed.
Last year marked the 50th anniversary of space and missiles in the Air Force and, according to AFSPC commander General Lance W. Lord, the command is already thinking about the next 50 years.

“We have to continue our commitment to the nuclear deterrence mission, and AFSPC is in support of our national policies and directives,” he said. “The 91st Space Wing is an important part of our fundamental nuclear deterrent structure.”

For the 91st Space Wing to complete its mission, safety must be the highest priority, the general said.

“Safety is an attitude, not a poster you put up on the wall,” he said. “It’s the way you act when people aren’t watching. We want to take this approach and continue to push it hard through 2005. Safety is the only attitude I’ll allow you to have!”

With this idea in mind, General Lord said he’s hopeful AFSPC can drastically reduce and meet Secretary of Defense [Donald Rumsfeld’s] goal, which is to reduce fatalities and accidents by 50 percent.

The Air Force has become more focused on Airman professional development in recent years, and AFSPC is taking steps to improve upon the topic, said General Lord.

“We’re doing a performance assessment throughout AFSPC to make sure we’re getting the right kind of feedback at the right time, so people know exactly what they need to know to get better,” he said. “Part of being a follower as well as being a leader is providing good feedback to those who work around you.”

The command has also committed itself to ensuring everyone in the total force is Fit-to-Fight.

“[Air Force Chief of Staff] General [John] Jumper’s idea is to get the fitness mentality engrained so Airmen can help Airmen get fit,” General Lord said. “These are good investments. We can’t turn the clock back, but we can make the future better for all of us if we’re fit.”

Keeping Airmen fit is one thing, but if the command wants to have 50 more years of global deterrence, the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles must be modernized, the general said.

“We’re spending about $7 to $8 billion for ICBM modernization across the force,” he said. “We’re refueling the missiles with the propulsion replacement program, and the guidance replacement program updates the missile’s electronics. The launch facility environmental control systems are also being updated.

“All these updates should get us to 2018. But I’m already looking pass that,” the general said. “It’s never too early to start thinking about the next generation.”

Support from the community surrounding Minot is also vital if the base is to continue its mission success.

“As always I’m impressed with the support from the Minot community and how they consider the base as part of their Minot family,” General Lord said. “We have an important mission to do, and it’s always nice to do it in a place where people appreciate you for your service.”

The general said the base is doing a top rate job, but it takes every person to sustain the mission.

“Since I’ve been here, I’m impressed with who I see and what they’re doing. I was out in the field to see the maintenance, [operations] and security forces, and the whole team is coming together to do the mission,” he said. “With their latest operational readiness inspection ratings, I see they’re a first-class outfit doing a great job.”


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