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Minot Air Force Base in Ward, ND

Minot Air Force Base: A Historic Hub of Military Excellence

Nestled in the picturesque outskirts of Ward, North Dakota lies the illustrious Minot Air Force Base. With its rich history, strategic importance, and unwavering commitment to national security, this military base stands as a testament to the dedication and valor of the United States Air Force.

In this article, we will explore the key information and delve into the captivating history behind Minot Air Force Base.

Topic 1: Information


  • Minot Air Force Base is situated in Ward County, North Dakota, approximately 14 miles north of the city of Minot.
  • Covering an expansive area of approximately 6,500 acres, the base serves as a vital stronghold for the United States Air Force.

Mission and Units:

  • Minot Air Force Base primarily carries out the dual mission of nuclear deterrence and providing combat-ready forces.
  • It is home to the 5th Bomb Wing (5 BW) and the 91st Missile Wing (91 MW), forming an exceptional amalgamation of air and missile capabilities.
  • The 5 BW operates the B-52H Stratofortress, a long-range strategic bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear ordnance.
  • The 91 MW maintains and operates Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), ensuring continuous readiness and a reliable deterrence capability.

Infrastructure and Facilities:

  • The base boasts a modern infrastructure, equipped with top-notch facilities to support the various mission requirements.
  • It includes multiple aircraft hangars, maintenance facilities, runways, and combat training ranges, enabling seamless operations and training exercises.
  • The base encompasses a comprehensive medical center, commissary, schools, recreation areas, and housing facilities, ensuring the well-being and quality of life for military members and their families.

Topic 2: History

Origins and Early Years:

  • Founded as the Minot Army Air Field in January 1957, Minot Air Force Base initially focused on training and equipping aircrews for the newly-introduced B-52 Stratofortress.
  • During the Cold War era, the base played a crucial role in America’s strategic posture, as the B-52s stationed here stood ready to respond to potential threats.
  • Minot Air Force Base rapidly evolved, expanding its capabilities as missile technology advanced, and being designated as a dual-wing base in 1968.

Modernizing Nuclear Deterrence:

  • In the following years, numerous upgrades were made to enhance the base’s nuclear deterrence capabilities.
  • This included the introduction of the modernized B-52H Stratofortress to replace older models, as well as the installation of cutting-edge LGM-30G Minuteman III missiles.
  • The 91 MW became responsible for the ICBMs in 2008, solidifying the base’s role as a critical cog in maintaining America’s strategic edge.

Promoting Global Stability:

  • Minot Air Force Base has not only defended the homeland but has also dispatched personnel and resources to support global stability efforts.
  • From humanitarian aid missions to providing air support in conflicts, the base has consistently demonstrated its commitment to global security and peacekeeping.


Minot Air Force Base in Ward, North Dakota stands as a testament to the dedication and valor of the United States Air Force. With its dual mission of nuclear deterrence and combat-readiness, this military stronghold plays a crucial role in safeguarding the nation.

As we explore its history and capabilities, we gain an appreciation for the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve at Minot Air Force Base, protecting our freedom and ensuring a more secure future.

Topic 3: Mission

As we delve deeper into the captivating world of Minot Air Force Base, we uncover the extraordinary mission and unwavering dedication that drives the men and women stationed here.

With nuclear deterrence and combat-readiness as its primary objectives, the base plays a crucial role in maintaining national security and global stability.

Nuclear Deterrence:

One of the key missions of Minot Air Force Base is nuclear deterrence, which entails maintaining a formidable and credible strategic nuclear capability.

The base accomplishes this mission primarily through the 91st Missile Wing’s operation and maintenance of the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs). These ICBMs, capable of delivering nuclear payloads over vast distances, serve as a potent deterrent against potential adversaries.

The 91st Missile Wing:

The 91st Missile Wing, stationed at Minot Air Force Base, is responsible for commanding and controlling the intercontinental ballistic missiles comprising the Minuteman III system. This mission involves operating and maintaining 150 silo-based missiles in North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming.

These missiles are kept on constant alert, ready to respond to any potential threats to national security.

Combat-Ready Forces:

In addition to its nuclear deterrence mission, Minot Air Force Base also strives to ensure that its forces are combat-ready at all times.

At the heart of this objective lies the 5th Bomb Wing (5 BW), which operates the venerable B-52H Stratofortress aircraft. Designed as a long-range strategic bomber, the B-52H is highly versatile, capable of delivering a wide range of munitions, and plays a significant role in projecting American airpower globally.

The 5th Bomb Wing:

The 5th Bomb Wing, headquartered at Minot Air Force Base, boasts a rich heritage and an illustrious history. Originally activated in 1940, it has evolved over the years into an exceptional force comprising highly skilled airmen.

Equipped with the formidable B-52H Stratofortress aircraft, the 5th Bomb Wing is responsible for conducting a variety of missions, including strategic nuclear deterrence, conventional strike operations, and worldwide deployment of airpower.

Strategic Nuclear Deterrence:

The 5th Bomb Wing’s contribution to strategic nuclear deterrence is an integral part of Minot Air Force Base’s mission.

The B-52H Stratofortress aircraft, capable of flying at high altitudes and accommodating significant munitions loads, provide the United States with a vital long-range strike capability. These aircraft undergo continuous training and readiness exercises to ensure their ability to deliver both conventional and nuclear ordnance whenever they are called upon.

Training and Readiness:

To maintain combat readiness, rigorous training programs are an essential component of Minot Air Force Base’s mission. Both the 5th Bomb Wing and the 91st Missile Wing undergo extensive training exercises, including joint exercises with other military branches and international partners, to ensure seamless integration and interoperability.

These exercises simulate real-world scenarios, providing invaluable experience in executing missions effectively and efficiently.

Partnerships and Alliances:

Minot Air Force Base recognizes the importance of partnerships and alliances in achieving its mission.

Through collaborative efforts with other military units and international partners, the base fosters cooperation and enhances its capacity to address global security challenges. Joint exercises, training programs, and information sharing initiatives bolster the collective defense and strengthen relationships with allied nations.

Supporting Global Stability:

While nuclear deterrence and combat-readiness are at the core of Minot Air Force Base’s mission, the base also actively supports global stability efforts. It regularly dispatches personnel and resources to provide humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and air support in conflicts overseas.

These endeavors exemplify the United States Air Force’s commitment to promoting peace and security on an international scale.

In Conclusion:

The mission of Minot Air Force Base encompasses nuclear deterrence and combat-readiness, placing it at the forefront of America’s national security strategy.

The 91st Missile Wing’s oversight of the Minuteman III ICBMs ensures that the base contributes substantially to nuclear deterrence capabilities. Simultaneously, the 5th Bomb Wing’s operation of the B-52H Stratofortress aircraft enhances the nation’s combat-readiness and global projection of airpower.

With its unwavering dedication to protecting the nation and supporting global stability, Minot Air Force Base stands as an exemplar of military excellence.

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