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Nuclear digital sustainment team wins acquisition award

An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during a developmental test at 12:33 a.m. Pacific Time Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aubree Milks)

An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during a developmental test at 12:33 a.m. Pacific Time Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aubree Milks)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M> --

A digital sustainment team for the next U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) recently won one of the Air Force Service Acquisition Executive’s Product Support Innovation awards.

The awards recognize Air Force program offices and teams who challenge traditional sustainment approaches and create new, innovative ways to maximize readiness or reduce the life-cycle costs of their programs, from rapid acquisition activities to sustaining existing systems.
 
“It’s great to see this team of exceptional Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center members recognized for their outstanding work,” said Maj. Gen. Shaun Morris, AFNWC commander and Air Force program executive officer for strategic systems.
 
The center is developing the Air Force’s new Ground Based Strategic Deterrent weapon system to replace the aging LGM-30G Minuteman III ICBM, which first became operational in the mid-1960s. While some Minuteman III components and subsystems have been upgraded over the years, most have supported over 50 years of continuous operation. The GBSD ICBM is expected to begin deploying to U.S. missile fields in the late 2020s.
 
The award recognized the following team members for developing a first-of-its-kind digital sustainment strategy for the GBSD weapon system:

  • Lynn Betts
  • Sharon Dore
  • Rodolfo Villafranca
  • William James
  • Anthony Purkey

 “Our product support team is leading the way in bringing sustainment into the Digital Engineering Age,” said Col. Jason Bartolomei, GBSD Systems director. “The team has invented stunning new digital visualizations that integrate GBSD risks and issues into an innovative risk management model.”
 
They also created the Air Force’s first product support software architecture and digital thread, which link strategic logistic and test data for the land-based leg of the U.S. nuclear triad.
 
“This team is changing the way we think about acquisition and sustainment,” Bartolomei said. “Their performance is consistent with the innovative spirit, dedication and drive the whole ICBM enterprise brings to the fight every day.”
 
The GBSD program office is part of AFNWC’s GBSD Systems Directorate at Hill AFB, Utah.
 
About AFNWC
Headquartered at Kirtland AFB, the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center is responsible for synchronizing all aspects of nuclear materiel management on behalf of Air Force Materiel Command, in direct support of Air Force Global Strike Command. It has more than 1,400 personnel assigned to 18 locations worldwide. More information on the center is available at www.afnwc.af.mil.