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Historic renovation program comes to close

Story ID 03-120
May 07, 2003

Air Force Space Command News Service
By Master Sgt. Buzz Ritchie
341st Space Wing Public Affairs

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. - It took eight years, but Alert Image, the massive renovation program for Air Force Space Command's missile alert facilities (MAFs), came to a close recently. vMaj. Gen. Timothy McMahon, commander of 20th Air Force, dedicated the last MAF to be renovated under the program - the 564th Missile Squadron's Romeo site - at Malmstrom April 24.

"During past visits to the missile field, I would be upset about the MAF conditions for our airmen," the general said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. "Today, we see how the Air Force takes care of its finest resource - people."

The upgrades included renovation of the sleeping, dining and recreational rooms of the facilities. Program renovation for the command began in 1995 at a MAF assigned to the 91st Space Wing at Minot AFB, N.D. It was completed in March 1996. Many of the buildings were more than 40 years old.

"Everything at this facility is new, from the roof to the foundation," said Lt. Col. Mohammed Khan, 564th Missile Squadron commander. "When you're talking quality of life for our troops, it must start with their home away from home. Anything we can do to fortify their living and working conditions is an obligation of leadership, not just a good idea."

MAFs house chefs, facility managers and security forces during their stays at missile sites in the field, usually at remote locations on the Western Plains.

"The program not only benefits airmen who work now, but for all those who will pull thousands of alerts in the future to protect our country," McMahon said.

During renovation, trailer homes were put in place to accommodate the men and women working at the facility. But, Khan continued, there was no interruption to the mission.

"Our expectations in ICBM operations are perfection; that's what the American public expects," Khan said.

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