Guard Guarding Missiles - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Guard Guarding Missiles

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North Dakota's Air National Guard is making history.

The Guard has taken over security of about half of the missiles and launch control facilities operated by the Minot Air Force Base.

The changeover from the Air Force's 91st Missile Wing's security forces to the Air Guard's 219th Security Forces squadron began six years ago and was completed this spring.

It's the first time in Air Force history that security of this sort has been turned over completely to a Guard unit.

(Lt.Col. Tad Schauer, ND Air National Guard) "This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people within the state of North Dakota, outside the state of North Dakota. Certainly it's a team effort here at Minot with the 91st Security Forces."

(Maj.Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, ND Adjutant General) "We have some of the most incredible airmen anywhere in the world right here in North Dakota. Between the 219th and the 91st, what you do day in and day out is critical to the nation and what I saw this morning tells me we're in good hands."

What General Spry saw was a training exercise last month that finalized the Air Guard's takeover of the missile security from the Air Force.

The exercise simulated various threats to the 150 missiles and the men and women who work inside the 15 missile launch control facilities spread out in an area the size of New Jersey.

The threats covered things like a suicide bomber and a force trying to get into a missile site.

The Air Guard now has control of security over the northern tier of missiles and LCFs surrounding Minot Air Force Base.

(MSgt. William Truitt, 91st Missile Wing) "70 missile facilities are being controlled today by the 219th Security Forces Squadron - it's a phenomenal event and I tell you for me as a career enlisted man I'm blown away. It is really awesome to see these counterparts' capabilities that they've done."

Master Sergeant Truitt served as the exercise evaluator for the 91st Missile Wing - the group in charge of missile operation and security at Minot Air Force Base.

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