Peacekeeper missile mission comes to end
by 2nd Lt. Joshua S. Edwards
F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. -- The Peacekeeper intercontinental ballistic missile mission came to an end Sept. 19 during a ceremony here.
Hundreds of Airmen and civilians, including Dr. Ronald M. Sega, undersecretary of the Air Force, were on hand to celebrate the Peacekeeper’s role in nuclear deterrence.
“Today we celebrate 19 years of Peacekeeper service,” Dr. Sega said. “Behind 19 years are many more years of strategic nuclear deterrence in ICBM operations.”
Dr. Sega, guest speaker at the event, had many words of thanks and appreciation for the people who made the Peacekeeper mission a success throughout its years. He also explained its development and journey to becoming an operational weapon system, and credited the Peacekeeper with helping to end the Cold War.
“Along with the rest of the nuclear triad, the Peacekeeper was a great stabilizing force in an increasingly unstable world,” Dr. Sega said.
The Peacekeeper was the nation’s most advanced strategic missile, so advanced that it was called the Missile Experimental, or MX, during President Jimmy Carter's administration. President Ronald Reagan renamed it "Peacekeeper" in November 1982.
“As the 400th Missile Squadron brought its full complement of Peacekeepers online in 1988, another aspect of the system’s success came to light,” Dr. Sega said. “Even though the Soviets had their own missiles, they weren’t as good as Peacekeeper.”
As the last step in the deactivation ceremony, a missile combat crew officer at Papa One Launch Control Center confirmed that there were no longer any Peacekeeper ICBMs on strategic alert in the 400th MS. With that confirmation, the Peacekeeper era came to a close. (Air Force Print News)