12th Missile Squadron [12th MS]
12th Strategic Missile Squadron's heritage can be traced back to 1940 at Langley Field, Virginia, when the defense build-up in the Caribbean area occurred at an accelerated rate. In November of that year, the squadron's B-18s landed at Borinquen Field, Puerto Rico. Throughout World War II, the 12th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, was located at St. Croix, St. Nicholas, and Antigua. Using at first B-18s and later B-25s in an anti-submarine role, the 12th protected vulnerable shipping lanes in the Caribbean area, allowing strategic materials to pass safely through to European destinations. On June 20, 1944, the victorious 12th Bombardment Squadron was disbanded.
Eleven years later, on September 1, 1955, the 12th Bombardment Squadron, Medium, was activated at Abilene Air Force Base, Texas. Before being disbanded once more in 1961, the 12th's B-47s engaged in training that made it a powerful element of the nation's strategic air power.
In less than three months, the unit was redesignated as the 12th Strategic Missile Squadron (SMS). At the same time, it was assigned to the Strategic Air Command for organization at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. Upon organization, it became the second Minuteman ICBM squadron in the Air Force. During the mid-1960s the 12th replaced it's 50 Minuteman I missiles with Minuteman IIs. The 12th SMS was the first squadron at Malmstrom to undergo weapon system upgrade to Minuteman Mod; and on April 22, 1967, it was the first squadron to become fully operational with the new Minuteman II missiles under this program. The 12th SMS was also the first squadron in the wing to undergo silo upgrade. By 1978, the Improved Launch Control System (ILCS) had replaced the Minuteman Mod system and the 12th SMS once again had the state-of-the-art weapon system. The 12th Missile Squadron (MS) led the way in removing Minuteman II missiles and replacing them with Minuteman III's. The new missile enhances capability, increases flexibility, and marks yet another system upgrade.
In 1994, the 12 MS reorganized under the objective squadron concept. This reorganization took the three combat disciplines, ICBM Operations, Security Police, and Electro- mechanical Maintenance, and combined them under the "one hat" of the missile squadron commander. In early June 1995, Electro-mechanical Maintenance returned to the Logistics Group. In February 1996, Missile Field Chefs became part of the 12 MS team.
The squadron recently underwent conversion of its five launch control centers to the Rapid Execution and Combat Targeting (REACT) modification integrating digital communications and weapon system operations into a single war-fighting console. This unique upgrade provided increased reliability, supportability, and operability to ICBM launch control centers.
Every missile alert facility used to have a mascot, a pet that would belong to no one, yet to everyone who worked there. Eventually the red bull dog became the squadron mascot. This keeping of pets at the alert facilities was not exactly official, but was accepted as long as the mascots did not cause any trouble. Unfortunately, that's just what one of them did. One of the mascot dogs got loose and started chasing a farmer's herd of cattle around, upsetting both. The facilities were ordered to get rid of their mascots. The mascots were put up for adoption and given to local families.
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