May 20, 2016

‘Why not … Minot?’

Senior Master Sgt. Don Slayton
5th Force Support Squadron

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. — When I received notification about my assignment to Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, apprehension overwhelmed me.

Throughout my career, I heard about Minot and how “terrible” it was because it was “cold and windy” all year long as well as how “remote and isolated” it was from everything.

Going to Minot was like going to Siberia, maybe worse. When I told my friends about my next assignment, I received replies like “who did you upset?” or the more common, “why not … Minot?” 

After moving here, I realized how wrong I was and how wrong most people were.

The city and the base is an outstanding place to live and work. The first time my family and I drove through downtown Minot, we quickly realized that the area was not what we saw on the YouTube videos. It is a lot bigger and has a lot more to offer. The city offers everything a big city has, from restaurants to stores to entertainment, but still has a small town feel. And most importantly, the city of Minot is a huge supporter of Minot AFB and the Air Force community.

Not only is the “Magic City” a great place, but Minot AFB is also an outstanding place to work. 

After arriving here, I quickly realized the uniqueness of the base. Minot AFB is the home of two wings, the 5th Bomb Wing and the 91st Missile Wing. The base demonstrates a partnership that flexes the long-range capability of B-52 bombers and the global deterrence of Minutemen III intercontinental ballistic missiles. Can any other base claim that it supports two nuclear capable missions that continuously provide America’s security and freedom 365 days a year?    

The mission of the base is important but as we all know, what makes or breaks an assignment is the people.

And the men and women here is what makes this assignment one of the best assignments I have ever had in my 20 plus years of service. Every military and civilian Airman assigned here works hard and has an unbounding passion, pride and love for the Air Force. Everyone here is strong and resilient. There are times when the cold weather, wind and snow do provide challenges, but it does not stop us from completing the mission. We are about the mission, the Team Minot family and taking care of each other.

Minot AFB is not MacDill or Nellis or Hickam, it is Minot and I am proud to be a part of it. The memories and the unique experiences will always be with me. So I ask, why not take the opportunity to enjoy North Dakota and everything that it has to offer?

Why not jump on the opportunity to make a direct and lasting impact on two legs of the nuclear triad?

“Why not…Minot?”

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