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91st Missile Wing
91st Space Wing.png
91st Missile Wing emblem
Active 1968–Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Missile Wing
Role Strategic Deterrence
Size 150 Minutemen III missiles
290 officers, 1,500 enlisted members and 25 civilian employees
Part of Twentieth Air Force
Air Force Global Strike Command
United States Strategic Command
Garrison/HQ Minot Air Force Base
Nickname Rough Riders
Motto Poised For Peace
Mascot Theodore Roosevelt
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Colonel Ferdinand Stoss

The 91st Missile Wing (91 MW) is a Minuteman III unit of the United States Air Force, based at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. Until 1 July 2008, it was designated as the 91st Space Wing.



Previously the wing was a strategic reconnaissance wing (1948–1957) and a B-52 bomb wing (1963–1968). It is also bestowed with the lineage, honors, and history of the World War II 91st Bomb Group.

The 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing was established 11 October 1948 and activated 10 November at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey. It moved to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, in 1949. RB-29J[1] bombers were assigned to the wing and its primary mission was global strategic reconnaissance. In 1950 it began receiving aerial refueling aircraft, first the KB-29, then the KC-97. On 6 July 1950, it was redesignated the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Medium. At Barksdale, its wing headquarters was integrated with that of the 301st Bomb Wing. Although each wing conducted independent tactical operations, both were commanded by the same headquarters. The wing detached components for up to three months, primarily to England, and maintained detachments from other units, to provide ongoing reconnaissance of overseas areas.

On 11 September 1951, the 91st SRW moved to Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio, with a RB-45C detachment operating from Japan, providing photo intelligence of North Korea; and another in the UK. The RB-45Cs in the UK were repainted with UK insignia and flown by RAF crews photographing the USSR. In April 1953 the wing received the photo-reconnaissance version of the B-47 Stratojet, the RB-47. Units were detached to England, 1952–1954, to North Africa and Newfoundland in 1956, and to Greenland in 1957. The RB-47Es in the UK commenced Russian overflights in May 1954. The 91st SRW was inactivated on 8 November 1957.

It was redesignated the 91st Bombardment Wing, Heavy on 15 November 1962, and activated at Glasgow Air Force Base, Montana, on 1 February 1963, operating B-52 and KC-135 aircraft. On 11 September 1966, the entire wing, except for a small rear echelon, was integrated into the Arc Light Force at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for combat in Southeast Asia, and returned on 31 March 1967. From 5 February to 15 April 1968, it was deployed to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, in response to the Pueblo Incident. A month after returning home, it became non-operational. Its aircraft departed and its primary job was closing Glasgow AFB.

On 25 June 1968, the wing was officially moved to Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. There it was redesignated the 91st Strategic Missile Wing and absorbed the units, personnel, and Minuteman III missiles of the inactivated 455th SMW. On 1 October 1997, it was redesignated as the 91st Space Wing. In June 2008, it was once again renamed the 91st Missile Wing.

In 2009 two missile officers, Captains Paul Borowiecki and Javed Abbas, were charged with stealing classified missile launch technology. The classified material- a device used to detect equipment tampering in the launch facility, was taken by Borowiecki in July 2005. The theft came to light in May 2008. Borowiecki and Abbas were allowed to resign from the Air Force in lieu of facing courts martial.[2]

On 14 October 2009 the wing commander, as well as the 91st Maintenance Group commander, and 91st Missile Maintenance Squadron commander, were relieved of command by the commander of the 20th Air Force for loss of confidence in their ability to command. The reliefs followed incidents including the crash of a truck carrying missile components on 31 August 2009, a similar truck crash in July 2008, a failed wing nuclear surety inspection, and misconduct by wing members. Colonel Ferdinand Stoss was named the new wing commander; he had previously been serving as vice commander of the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming.[3]

Major Command

Numbered Air Force

Air Division

Previous designations

  • 91st Missile Wing (2008–present)
  • 91st Space Wing (1996–2008)
  • (Downgraded to group status 1994–1996)
  • 91st Missile Wing (1991–1994)
  • 91st Strategic Missile Wing (1968–1991)
  • 91st Bombardment Wing, Heavy (1962–1968)
  • 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Medium (1950–1957)
  • 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (1948–1950)

Subordinate units

  • 91st Operations Group (Colonel Robert M. Walker, current Commander)
    • 740th Strategic Missile (Later:) Missile Squadron
    • 741st Strategic Missile (Later:) Missile Squadron
    • 742d Strategic Missile (Later:) Missile Squadron
    • 91st Operations Support Squadron
    • 54th Helicopter Squadron

After the 1992 reorganization

  • 91st Maintenance Group (Colonel Lyman A. Faith, current Commander)
    • 91st Missile Maintenance Squadron
    • 91st Maintenance Operations Squadron

Prior to the 1992 reorganization

  • 91st Deputy Commander for Maintenance
    • 91st Missile Maintenance Squadron (25 Jun 1968 - 30 Sep 75)
    • 91st Field Missile Maintenance Squadron (30 Sep 75 - 92)
    • 91st Organizational Missile Maintenance Squadron (30 Sep 75 - 92)
  • 91st Security Forces Group (Colonel Peter N. Micale, current Commander) (Formerly the: 91st Security Police Group Organized: 01 Oct 1973)
    • 791st Missile Security Forces Squadron
    • 91st Missile Security Forces Squadron (Formerly the: 91st Missile Security Squadron Organized: 01 Oct 1973)
    • 91st Security Support Squadron
    • 92d Missile Security Squadron (Formerly the: 92d Missile Security Squadron Organized: 01 Oct 1978)

Historically part of the wing during it's Strategic Reconnaissance Wing days.

  • 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing
    • 322d Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron
    • 323d Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron
    • 324th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron
    • 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron
    • 26th Air Refueling Squadron(Attached: 28 May 1952-1 Jun 1953)
    • 68th Air Refueling Squadron(Attached: 5 May 1952-28 May 1952)
    • 91st Air Refueling Squadron (Attached: 10 Feb 1951-27 May 1952), Assigned: 28 May 1952-8 Nov 1957 (Detached: 12 Jan-26 Feb 1954, 6 Oct-12 Nov 1954, and 10 Jul-Oct 1955).
    • 100th Air Refueling Squadron (Attached:) 23 May-24 Nov 1953.
  • 91st Deputy Commander For Maintenance
    • 91st Armament & Electronics Maintenance Squadron
    • 91st Field Maintenance Squadron
    • 91st Periodic (Later:) Organizational Maintenance Squadron

Historically part of the wing during it's Bombardment Wing days.

  • 91st Bombardment Wing (Heavy)
  • 91st Bombardment Wing Deputy Commander For Operations
    • 322d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy)
    • 907th Air Refueling Squadron
  • 91st Bombardment Wing Deputy Commander For Maintenance
    • 68th Aviation Depot (Later:) Munitions Maintenance Squadron
    • 91st Armament & Electronics Maintenance Squadron
    • 91st Field Maintenance Squadron
    • 91st Organizational Maintenance Squadron
  • 91st Combat Support Group
    • 91st Civil Engineering Squadron
    • 91st Combat Defense Squadron
    • 91st Services Squadron
    • 91st Supply Squadron
    • 91st Transportation Squadron


Aircraft and missiles operated




  • Blanchard Trophy: 1978, 1988, 1994, 2000, 2004
  • Lee R. Williams Memorial Missile Trophy: 1978, 1980
  • SAC Bombing and Navigation: 1956


  • Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
    • 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (8/8/1953 – 11/8/1957)
    • 91st Bombardment Wing, Heavy (7/1/1965 – 6/30/1966)
    • 91st Bombardment Wing, Heavy (7/1/1966 – 6/30/1967)
    • 91st Bombardment Wing, Heavy (2/1/1968 – 3/1/1968)
    • 91st Bombardment Wing, Heavy (2/2/1968 – 4/15/1968)
    • 91st Strategic Missile Wing (7/1/1972 – 6/30/1973)
    • 91st Strategic Missile Wing (7/1/1976 – 6/30/1978)
    • 91st Strategic Missile Wing (7/1/1978 – 6/30/1980)
    • 91st Missile Group (9/1/1993 – 8/31/1995)
    • 91st Space Wing (9/1/1995 – 8/31/1997)
    • 91st Space Wing (10/1/1998 – 9/30/2000)
    • 91st Space Wing (10/1/2000 – 10/1/2001)
    • 91st Space Wing (1/1/2002 – 12/31/2002)



PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ National Museum Fact Sheet RB-29J Official National Museum Website
  2. ^ MacPherson, James, "Officers accused of Minot theft allowed to quit", Military Times, January 14, 2010.
  3. ^ The misconduct by wing members included three officers who fell asleep on duty in July 2008 while in possession of classified components containing out-of-date missile launch codes for Minuteman III ICBMs and an airman who left a safe containing missile operation precedures unsecured for an entire night. Hoffman, Michael, "Wing commander, 2 others fired at Minot", Military Times, 15 October 2009.

External links


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