Gov. Doug Burgum met with the commander of the North Dakota Air National Guard’s 219th Security Forces Squadron this morning, who highlighted the role they play in protecting the Air Force’s nuclear missiles in North Dakota. Burgum received a mission briefing from squadron commander Lt. Col. Tad Schauer, which preceded Vice President Mike Pence’s arrival at Minot Air Force Base today.
“The 219th plays a crucial role in providing steadfast security to ensure our strategic nuclear defenses are protected, and we are grateful for their service,” Burgum said. “This unique and vital mission is a credit to their performance and professionalism and just another example of the trailblazing contributions the North Dakota Air National Guard makes to our nation’s defense.”
The 219th Security Forces Squadron is a geographically separate unit from the North Dakota Air National Guard, headquartered in Fargo. Since 2007, the unit has been providing security to the missile fields of Minot’s 91st Missile Wing while working jointly with its active duty counterparts. In 2013, the 219th was the first ever reserve component squadron to assume complete control of missile field security. The 219th controls the entire northern sector of one of the nation’s three missile fields and is responsible for the security of 150 launch sites and corresponding missile alert facilities.
“Our members have years of experience and expertise in the missile fields, and because we don’t frequently change duty stations like our counterparts, we provide a level of continuity not seen on the active duty side,” Schauer said. “A visit like this from the governor is a great opportunity to provide our state leaders a look inside to highlight the relevance and importance of our mission here in Minot.”
Burgum will join Vice President Pence today for a briefing of Minot Air Force Base operations and a tour of the launch facility containing the LGM-30 Minuteman III, the only land-based Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) in the United States.