The Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill Air Force Base was recently singled out for three weapons-system safety awards. The U.S. Air Force Safety Awards Board selected the Ogden center for missile and explosives safety and nuclear surety.
Of 42 nominations, the Hill center took the Air Force award for missile safety, an area in which the base plays a major role for the Air Force. Hill technicians maintain and manage several missile systems, including the Peacekeeper intercontinental ballistic missile.The Ogden center shared the Air Force explosives safety award with Detachment 60 of the San Antonio ALC at Kelly AFB, Texas. A total of 53 nominations were considered by the board, with 20 organizations getting a plaque.
Hill explosives experts have the responsibility of clearing the Utah Test and Training Range in western Utah. The range, covering hundreds of square miles, is regularly used for weapons testing.
The local unit again shared honors for the third award, this time for nuclear surety, with the 3096th Aviation Depot Squadron, San Antonio ALC.
Selections were made based on a combination of factors, according to the ALC, including the command's prioritized lists, accident-risk exposure, mission complexities, flying time and number of aircraft sorties.
Although the Department of Defense officially will not comment on the presence or absence of nuclear weapons on any base or location, Hill officials have privately indicated there are no nuclear weapons at Hill.
"It takes a tremendous effort to maintain proper weapons safety," said Neal Faux, chief of weapons safety. "But that's our job. We put out whatever effort is necessary to make sure weapons on this base are handled and maintained in a safe manner."
Faux said the key to proper weapon safety is having a thorough knowledge of the handling, storage and maintenance of each weapon and he said his employees have that in abundance.