The Air Force is scheduled this month to commence operational testing of upgraded satellite communications terminals that will connect US government and military leadership to Minuteman III ICBM combat crews, according to a Jan. 14 release. Minuteman III launch control centers at Malmstrom AFB, Mont.; F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.; and Minot AFB, N.D., will get the updated terminals under the Air Force’s Minuteman Minimum Essential Emergency Communications Network Program Upgrade, or MMPU, which is managed by officials at Hanscom AFB, Mass. "MMPU provides our national leadership with an advanced, secure, and agile [command, control, and communications] capability for our ICBM forces, and will greatly enhance crew communications," said Col. Todd Krueger, senior materiel leader for space, aerial, and nuclear networks at Hanscom. "A successful operational test is the last major step before fielding this critical system. We are ready to go, and I'm confident we will succeed,” he said. Operational testing is expected to last about a month. The system is projected to reach initial operational capability in early 2016, states the release.
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