(Second Lt. Alexandra Rea, the 490th Missile Squadron combat crew deputy director, left, and 1st Lt. Elizabeth Guidara, the 12th Missile Squadron combat crew deputy director, perform training at the Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., missile procedures trainer March 21, 2016. photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force)
As North Korea prepares to launch another missile as early as tomorrow, MarieClaire.com’s latest feature takes you inside the lives of female “missileers” – the Air Force’s Nuclear and Missile Operations Officers who monitor and control our country’s collection of 450 nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Their mission: Ensure that the world’s most consequential weapons are infallible and ready to launch on command – a gentle reminder to our adversaries that it would be a huge mistake to attack the U.S.
Though women are notoriously underrepresented in the U.S. Military, the Air Force is better at gender equality than other branches, and there are a disproportionally high number of female missileers.
MarieClaire.com spends time with a few of these women on the job – their offices happen to be capsules the size of shipping containers that are suspended within the Earth’s crust, 60- to 80-feet below ground, so that they can survive a near-miss nuclear blast – to see what it takes to be a missileer (integrity, trustworthiness, allegiance and responsibility are key) and highlight the critical role they play in defending American citizens every day.
You can read the full piece here: http://www.marieclaire.com/politics/a29275/air-force-nuclear-missileers/.