10th Missile Squadron [10th MS]
The 10th Missile Squadron is an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Squadron located at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. The squadron is a complete warfighting unit comprised of operations, security forces, and support personnel. It is one of four operational missile squadrons assigned to the 341st Space Wing, Air Force Space Command's premier ICBM wing.
The 10th Missile Squadron was originally constituted as the 10th Bombardment Squadron on 22 December 1939 and activated at Langley Field, Virginia on 1 February 1940. Originally assigned to Borinquen Field in Puerto Rico, the 10th moved to Edinburgh Field, Trinidad, British West Indies on 31 October 1942 to continue these operations until May 1944 when it was transferred to Lincoln Army Air Field, and later, inactivated on 17 June 1944.
On 18 June 1947, the 10th Bombardment Squadron was activated and assigned to the organized Reserve at Westover Field, Massachusetts. The 10th was inactivated on 27 June 1949 only to be reactivated 1 September 1955 at Abilene (Dyess) AFB, Texas. The squadron flew B-47s at Dyess until 25 June 1961 when it was deactivated.
On 2 August 1961, the Department of the Air Force redesignated the squadron the 10th Strategic Missile Squadron (ICBM Minuteman) and assigned it to Malmstrom AFB, Montana on 8 December 1961. Construction of the $53.5 million Malmstrom Minuteman project began March 1961 and by late October1962 the launch facilities comprising Alfa flight were brought to alert status in conjunction with the advent of the "Cuban Missile Crisis". On 29 October 1961, President Kennedy acknowledged these efforts and their role in current U.S. foreign policy. A statement from President Kennedy in October 1962 referred to Alfa flight as America's "First Ace in the Hole;" thereby giving the squadron its motto and tradition.
The Improved Launch Capability System modification completed in July 1978 and command, control, and communications modification completed in July 1983 significantly enhanced the squadron's capability. In July 1986, the unprecedented Accuracy, Reliability, Supportability Improvement Program was completed. In September of 1991, the 10th received a Presidential Directive to deactivate the Minuteman II ICBM fleet. The 10th began removing missiles with the last Minuteman II removed being Echo-10, on 23 August 1994.
The squadron underwent a reorganization in May of 1994 merging missile security police and missile electro-mechanical maintenance teams with existing squadron members. Also in 1994, the squadron began a conversion program to emplace the newer, more accurate Minuteman III weapon system into existing silos. On 18 May 95, Echo Launch Control Center completed the Rapid Execution and Combat Targeting (REACT) modification. The 10th Missile Squadron was the first squadron in the 341st Space Wing entirely converted to REACT, bringing it to its present configuration. Missile emplacement of the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles began on 19 October 1995 with the loading of Alfa-09. This missile was the first emplacement of a Minuteman III in the 341st Space Wing's eastern complex.
The squadron has received eight successive "excellent" ratings from the SAC IG in the years between 1983 and 1992. In 1989, 1994, and 1995 the squadron was named the 341st Space Wing's "ICBM Squadron of the Year." The 10th contributed to the wing by winning the Blanchard trophy in 1990 and 1991. In 1995, the 10th took honors as the "Best ICBM Squadron in Air Force Space Command" by winning the Blanchard Trophy again. In 1996, the 10th Missile Squadron earned the highest rating possible for an operational ICBM squadron in Air Force Space Command.
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