CLEAR, Alaska Airmen work day and night at Clear Air Force Base, approximately 80 miles south of Fairbanks on the Parks Highway, to detect missiles that may be approaching the United States.
Airmen work day and night at Clear Air Force Base, approximately 80 miles south of Fairbanks on the Parks Highway, to detect missiles that may be approaching the United States. (Sara Tewksbury/KTVF)
Crew Chief Staff Sergeant Daniel Crump says they train on their simulator so that they are prepared for scenarios that may happen in the real world, that require them to be ready at a moment’s notice.
"We are the detection of missiles coming from our less than friendly individuals from across the world, so we help detect and track missiles coming towards us to notify our people how to protect against them," said Crump.
Senior Master Sergeant Jamie Kurzenberger says they detect and track roughly 3 to 7 missiles a year, which he says generally are not a threat.
"It's not our job to make a threat determination, we just report whether our systems are working appropriately, and give that valid indication and that goes to the decision makers at Cheyenne Mountain and then they are directly in contact with the President to make their assessment for retaliation," said Kurzenberger.
Technical Sergeant Baron Blige says a mission like the one at Clear Air Force station requires a high level of security.
"We have infrastructures there that if it's comprised, if it's destroyed, or if the wrong people make contact with it, get to it, it limits our capability of protecting you, your family, our family back at home, our loved ones, so we have to make sure only authorized personnel are allowed and granted entry onto this installation," said Blige.
Security Forces Defenders guard the station, allowing operators to continue their mission of protecting the country.