Center places top beam on new nuclear missile facility

  • Published
  • By Leah Bryant, AFNWC Public Affairs
  • Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center
The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center held a “topping out” ceremony for its new Ground Based Strategic Deterrent facility here March 4, just over a year after breaking ground for it.
The Air Force also announced this week that the GBSD weapon system has officially been designated as the LGM-35A Sentinel. 
The new Mission Integration Facility will host the center’s GBSD Systems Directorate, including more than 700 personnel, systems testing, an auditorium and the first covered-parking structure at Hill Air Force Base.
In the United States, the topping out marks the placement of the highest steel beam during the construction of a building. For this ceremony, a beam was painted white and signed by members of several organizations participating in the construction project, including Hensel Phelps, construction contractor; Air Force Civil Engineer Center; and AFNWC. In keeping with tradition, a U.S flag and an evergreen tree were also attached to the beam before a crane placed it on the roof.
The 160,000-square-foot facility will consolidate both government and contractor personnel into one secure building. Its construction is scheduled to be completed by July 2023, with operations starting in July 2024.
“We are so proud of the steady progress being made building the future home of the ICBM,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Genatempo, AFNWC commander and Air Force program executive officer for strategic systems.
The Air Force plans to replace the aging Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with the LGM-35A Sentinel currently in development. The Sentinel acquisition program represents the modernization of the land-based leg of the U.S. nuclear triad.