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​1st Lt. Pamela Blanco-Coca, 319th Missile Squadron missile combat crew commander, and her deputy commander, 2nd Lt. John Anderson, simulate key turns of the Minuteman III weapon system Feb. 9, 2016, in a launch control center at F.E. Warren AFB. Air Force photo by SrA. Jason Wiese.

​Air Force Global Strike Command is changing the career path for its strategic missile control officers to keep more of them in that field to provide the future leaders, Gen. Robin Rand said Thursday. Speaking at an AFA Mitchell Institute forum, the AFGSC commander said the previous system of assessing an excess number of missile controllers and watching them leave for other duties after three years in that job was not working. Now, those officers will remain in the controller assignments longer, before moving on to gain the broader experience other Air Force officers receive, Rand said. But they will return to the field at 12 to 15 years of service “to be the commanders of that field,” with the best moving up to become missile wing and group commanders, and “the best of the best becoming general officers,” he said. Rand said he would leave it to others to determine if the morale of those officers had improved since Air Force leaders had moved aggressively to correct issues within the command. “Our job is to assure them they are making a difference” and to “resource them properly.” Judging morale by mission effectiveness, “our airmen are performing spectacularly,” Rand said.