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NEWS | Jan. 17, 2024

AFIMSC supports Sentinel missile weapon system beddown

By Air Force Installation and Mission Support CenterPublic Affairs Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Public Affairs

The Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center is executing a multi-year design and construction program to provide beddown for the Department of the Air Force nuclear deterrence mission.

Under the program, AFIMSC recently spearheaded the award of a $120 million contract to deliver new test infrastructure at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California.

“Modernizing infrastructure to advance national defense capabilities continues to be our key focus,” said Col. George Nichols, deputy director at AFCEC’s Facility Engineering Directorate. “We’re supporting headquarters Air Force by delivering resilient and cost-effective infrastructure solutions to enhance combat readiness and mission effectiveness at Air and Space Forces installations.”

The award is the result of the collaborative partnership between the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, Air Force Global Strike Command, the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, Vandenberg Space Force Base, AFIMSC’s Detachment 10 and the California District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deliver a 148,444-square-foot consolidated maintenance facility to support testing and launch operations for the Air Force’s Sentinel Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Program. The multi-story facility will consist of advanced support offices, modern laboratories and storage structures for various work groups and training.

The Sentinel program is the Air Force’s largest military construction program, spanning over seven Air Force installations.

The AFCEC’s Nuclear Enterprise Division provides expertise and centralized support to the DAF effort to modernize and extensively refurbish nuclear facilities to meet the unique AFGSC mission sets.

“A program of this magnitude and complexity has a lot of important elements in the infrastructure delivery process,” said Col. Elizabeth Harwood, chief of AFCEC’s Nuclear Enterprise Division. “It involves time-critical construction and requires all mission partners on board to meet operational milestones and synchronize MILCON awards with program milestones.”

The Sentinel weapon system, currently in development, will replace the 50-year-old Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile program.

The effort to modernize the land-based leg of the nation’s nuclear triad requires broad AFIMSC support to design and construct new buildings, and repair existing infrastructure across AFGSC, the lead command for the nuclear mission.

“The Sentinel project is a complex, dynamic, vast enterprise that will bring global stability to the United States for years to come,” said Gen. Thomas Bussiere, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command. “We are grateful for the mission partners who are continuing the work to ensure the success of the largest Department of Defense modernization program launched in the last 50 years.”

Shown is an illustration of the LGM-35A Sentinel launch center. The Sentinel is the Air Force’s newest weapon system known as the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent. The Air Force determined the LGM-35A Sentinel would provide continuity in strategic deterrence and cost less than extending the life of the current intercontinental ballistic missile fleet, comprised of the aging Minuteman III. Replacing the 1970s-era missile modernizes the ground-based leg of the nuclear triad and brings the Minuteman’s more than 50 years of service to a close. (U.S. Air Force illustration)
Shown is an illustration of the LGM-35A Sentinel launch center. The Sentinel is the Air Force’s newest weapon system known as the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent. The Air Force determined the LGM-35A Sentinel would provide continuity in strategic deterrence and cost less than extending the life of the current intercontinental ballistic missile fleet, comprised of the aging Minuteman III. Replacing the 1970s-era missile modernizes the ground-based leg of the nuclear triad and brings the Minuteman’s more than 50 years of service to a close. (U.S. Air Force illustration)
Shown is an illustration of the LGM-35A Sentinel launch center. The Sentinel is the Air Force’s newest weapon system known as the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent. The Air Force determined the LGM-35A Sentinel would provide continuity in strategic deterrence and cost less than extending the life of the current intercontinental ballistic missile fleet, comprised of the aging Minuteman III. Replacing the 1970s-era missile modernizes the ground-based leg of the nuclear triad and brings the Minuteman’s more than 50 years of service to a close. (U.S. Air Force illustration)
Air Force’s new intercontinental ballistic missile system has a name: Sentinel
Shown is an illustration of the LGM-35A Sentinel launch center. The Sentinel is the Air Force’s newest weapon system known as the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent. The Air Force determined the LGM-35A Sentinel would provide continuity in strategic deterrence and cost less than extending the life of the current intercontinental ballistic missile fleet, comprised of the aging Minuteman III. Replacing the 1970s-era missile modernizes the ground-based leg of the nuclear triad and brings the Minuteman’s more than 50 years of service to a close. (U.S. Air Force illustration)
Photo By: Air Force
VIRIN: 220405-F-AF000-1307

AFCEC’s Facility Engineering Directorate, in conjunction with AFNWC and other agencies, will support the Sentinel construction portfolio consisting of 550 MILCON planned projects through 2036.

“Synchronizing and executing the work requires solid partnerships and teamwork to coordinate the activities to meet the critical nuclear mission needs,” Harwood said.

To achieve that, AFIMSC’s Det. 10 provides support, acting as a liaison and helping AFCEC coordinate various engineering efforts with AFGSC installations to ensure all infrastructure requirements are met in a timely manner.

Besides Vandenberg, construction is underway at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, with more construction on the horizon at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming.

For more information on the Sentinel program visit: https://www.afgsc.af.mil/Sentinel-GBSD/