Twenty years after it all began, the Rivet MILE (Minuteman Integrated Life Extension) program is still going strong.
MALMSTROM AFB, Mont. - Joe Ouert, a Rivet MILE technician, works on a B-plug combination lock.
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MALMSTROM AFB, Mont. – Some things are just too good to do away with.
Twenty years after it all began, the Rivet MILE (Minuteman Integrated Life Extension) program is still going strong. Rivet MILE helps Team Malmstrom keep America free and strong by providing combat-ready people and aerospace forces.
Saturday, June 25, marks the 20th anniversary of the program.
Initially, Rivet MILE was a nine-year, $500-million program, but according to Cliff Wagner, Rivet MILE general manager, the program proved invaluable to extending the Minuteman weapon system and remains an integral part of Malmstrom staying on alert.
“I’ve always believed that if you have the right people and give them the right tools and equipment, they can do anything,” Mr. Wagner said.
Rivet MILE was designed to improve safety, maintainability and reliability of Minuteman facilities that were originally constructed in the 1960s, according to a 1985 Hill Top Times article. The program, which began in 1985, was designed to expand the life of the Minuteman weapon system to the year 2000 and beyond.
It has been a resounding success.
Rivet MILE technicians are jacks of all trades. One of the most unique capabilities these technicians employ is their versatility. Rivet MILE technicians can perform a variety of tasks individually – no one man possesses all the knowledge.
“Rivet MILE technicians are trained on a little bit of everything,” Mr. Wagner said. “I have some amazing people who work for me on the most amazing program.”
The 30 technicians who work on the Rivet MILE program participate in more than 135 classes a year, some of which include nuclear surety, hazardous materials and weapons handling. This training allows the technicians to work safely and efficiently.
Through the years, Rivet MILE technicians have poured endless energy into numerous tasks essential to Malmstrom being able to execute its mission. Some of this work includes removal and replacement of launcher closure door wheels, repair of water leaks inside silos, repair work on missile site entrance hatches and blast door repairs, to name a few. Their work takes them sprawling across Malmstrom’s 23,500-square-mile missile complex where they work at both launch facilities and missile alert facilities.
“We’re one big family, and I’ve always felt extremely fortunate to have these people working here with me,” Mr. Wagner said.
As Rivet MILE workers begin their next 20 years, Malmstrom is fortunate to still have them as part of the team.