Minot Air Force Base in Ward on map

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Minot Air Force Base in Ward, ND North Dakota Military Bases


Minot AFB is located in the northern part of North Dakota, 21 km away from Minot, in the Ward County. It is a census designated place. In 2010, the place hosted a little over 5500 inhabitants. It hosts two major units and is run by the Air Force. The base is named for the nearby human community.


The military base is among the youngest around the United States of America. Its construction was approved in 1956. About half a year later, at the beginning of 1957, the authorities held the groundbreaking ceremony. The first unit to be deployed there was the 32-nd Air Base Group. However, it wasn’t given any aircrafts. Therefore, its activity was relatively limited. One year later, it was inactivated. During the ’60s, the vague objectives of the base changed. The authorities built a very resistant building with thick concrete walls and some of the most advanced computers inside. It became one of the intelligence heads around the country, providing information through direct connections to the Air Defense Command. Ever since then, the base was assigned to a wide variety of units. The primary mission constantly changed, without any clear purposes. No one can tell precisely what the military base is actually useful for. Things haven’t changed since then and these days, every new year brings in a lot of changes as well.

A major incident took place in 2007. A B 52 aircraft took off from Minot AFB and headed to Barksdale AFB, a military base from Louisiana. The aircraft had six missiles loaded with nuclear warheads. No one at Barksdale AFB knew about them. This incident raise a big controversy throughout the country. The US government policy is simple in such cases though – complete silence. It didn’t deny nor confirm the nuclear weapons. With all these, the Air Force superiors admitted that there are nuclear warheads hosted on site. A similar, yet less important incident took place in 2008. Three officers fell asleep while investigating the control codes for some nuclear equipment. The good news is that the nuclear codes were outdated, so there were no dangers at all. However, this action was still a protocol violation, so the three officers were punished.


The host unit at Minot AFB is the 5-th Bomb Wing. It has four groups assigned to fully fulfill its mission – the medical group, the maintenance group, the mission support group and the operations group. The unit members describe themselves as the guardians of the upper realm. The military base also hosts the 91-st Missile Wing Units, referred to as the Rough Riders.


The housing system at Minot AFB is controlled by the Air Force. In order to get a home, you will have to start with an application. It will take months to proceed, therefore you must do it early. It depends on your rank and whether you plan to bring in your family too or not. If deployed for short periods of time, you can always check in the local inns or hotels.