In comments at today's ceremony, the commander of the 20th Air Force talked about the changes being implemented as a result of investigations and studies done since the scandals of last year in the Air Force's nuclear forces.
Major General Jack Weinstein told the gathered airmen that the Force Improvement Program - implemented as a result of the problems identified in the past year - will take on the issues by fundamentally changing the culture at the nation's missile wings.
He says the Air Force will spend more than 50-million dollars this year on initiatives identified in the Force Improvement Program.
Financial incentives have been approved for some missile personnel, and the chances for promotion will be more clearly defined.
(Maj.Gen. Jack Weinstein, 20th Air Force Commander)"Missile operators will have a defined career path for their first six years of nuclear duty and their training and evaluation programs will be overhauled. In fact the 91st will take the lead on this particular initiative beginning July First as the operations group will re-organize in support of new procedures designed to properly differentiate between crew member training and crew member evaluation."
General Weinstein also announced the helicopter squadrons will be re-aligned.
He stressed that everyone in the wing must buy-in to the changes in order for problems to be overcome.
(Maj.Gen. Jack Weinstein, 20th Air Force Commander)"To be clear, changing a culture with 50-plus years of history is not easy and it takes time. It requires all of us to understand where we are headed, and for leaders at all levels to adopt these changes as their own."
Another part of the Force Improvement Plan is the addition of some one thousand personnel to Global Strike Command - which controls all nuclear arms in the Air Force.
North Dakota Senator John Hoeven says since Minot is home to two wings that are part of Global Strike, the base should see a significant increase in men and women assigned to Minot Air Force Base.