The 741st Missile squadron vigilantly maintains the missile force around-the-clock. Each squadron controls 50 launch facilities and five missile alert facilities. Missile squadrons are divided into missile operations flights and an operation support flight.
The missile operations flights are composed of officer crewmembers who, when on alert, are responsible for day-to-day operations, maintenance and security of the missiles within their control and are prepared to launch their missiles at all times. Facility managers are responsible for and ensure the readiness of the missile alert facilities. The alert facility chefs are responsible for providing meals to missile alert facility personnel.
Each squadron is responsible for 5 flights of 10 missiles each, or 50 missiles. Sites are designated by flight, using one letter of the alphabet, followed by a number. The first site in each flight is #1 and designates the Missile Alert Facility (MAF) which consists of an above-ground structure plus an underground Launch Control Center (LCC) staffed by two officers. The Launch Facilities (LFs, i.e. missile silos) are numbered 2 through 11 and are connected to the MAF/LCC by the Hardened Intersite Cable System (HICS) which also interconnects flights. The 740th SMS includes flights A through E; the 741st includes flights F through J; and the 742nd includes flights K through O.
Established as a B-24 Liberator heavy bombardment unit in mid-1943; assigned to II Bomber Command for training. Primarily trained in New Mexico and Utah received deployment orders for the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) in November 1943. Moved to Virginia where the group flew long-range convoy escort missions over the Mid-Atlantic, October–November 1943 while station in Italy was being constructed.
Deployed to Southern Italy in January 1944; entered combat in January 1944, being assigned to Fifteenth Air Force. Engaged in very long range strategic bombing missions to enemy military, industrial and transportation targets in Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia, bombing railroad marshalling yards, oil refineries, airdrome installations, heavy industry, and other strategic objectives.
In addition to strategic missions in the Balkans, the group bombed troop concentrations, bridges, marshaling yards, and airdromes during the fall of 1944 to hamper the enemy’s withdrawal from the region. The group also supported ground forces at Anzio and Cassino in March 1944; knocked out gun positions in preparation for the invasion of Southern France in August 1944; and assisted the final Allied drive through Italy in April 1945 by hitting such targets as bridges, gun positions, and troop concentrations.
Remained in Italy after the German Capitulation in May, although unit personnel were demobilized throughout the summer of 1945. Group was inactivated in Italy on 9 September 1945. A B-24 pilot of the 741st was Senator George McGovern.
Reactivated in the Air Force Reserve in 1947 with B-29 Superfortresses. Trained at Hensley Field, Texas. Inactivated in 1949 due to budget restrictions.
Allocated to Tactical Air Command during the 1950s. Activated at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, South Carolina in 1956 as part of a second Fighter-Day Group planned for the new installation. Some personnel were assigned but never became operational with aircraft. Inactivated in July 1957 due to budget restrictions; personnel assigned were reassigned to 354th Fighter-Day Group.
Reactivated on 1 Nov 1962 as an ICBM squadron assigned to the 455th Strategic Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. Initially equipped with 50 LGM-30B Minuteman Is in 1963. Reassigned to 91st Strategic Missile Wing in 1968. Upgraded to LGM-30G Minuteman III in 1968/1969, has maintained ICBMs on alert ever since.
The 741 MS became the first unit in 20th Air Force/Air Force Space Command to operate the LCC Netlink computer system. This system allows missile combat crew members access to the Internet while on alert. Prior to Netlink, no external communication systems, aside from telephone, was allowed into the launch control center.Constituted as the 741st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 14 May 1943
Activated on 1 June 1943
Redesignated 741st Bombardment Squadron
, Heavy on 6 March 1944
Inactivated on 9 September 1945
Redesignated 741st Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy on 27 December 1946
Activated in the reserve on 10 January 1947
Inactivated on 27 June 1949
Redesignated 741st Fighter-Day Squadron on 7 May 1956
Activated on 25 July 1956
Inactivated on 1 July 1957
Redesignated 741st Strategic Missile Squadron (ICBM-Minuteman) and activated on 28 June 1962 (not organized)
Organized on 1 November 1962
Redesignated 741st Missile Squadron
on 1 Sep 1991
455th Bombardment Group, 1 June 1943 – 9 September 1945
Tenth Air Force, 10 January 1947
455th Bombardment Group, 25 March 1947 – 27 June 1949
455th Fighter-Day Group, 25 July 1956 – 1 July 1957
Strategic Air Command, 28 June 1962 (not organized)
455th Strategic Missile Wing, 1 November 1962
91st Strategic Missile Wing, 25 June 1968
91st Operations Group, 1 September 1991
91st Missile Group, 1 July 1994
91st Operations Group, 1 February 1996 – present
Alamogordo Army Air Field, New Mexico, 1 June 1943
Kearns Army Air Base, Utah, 9 September 1943
Langley Field, Virginia, 5 October – 13 December 1943
San Giovanni Airfield, Italy, 15 January 1944
Bari Airfield, Italy, c. July – 9 September 1945
Hensley Field, Texas, 10 January 1947 – 27 June 1949
Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, South Carolina, 25 July 1956 – 1 July 1957
Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, 1 November 1962 – present
Consolidated B-24 Liberator, 1943–1945
Boeing B-29 Superfortress, 1947–1949
LGM-30 Minuteman I, 1963–1971
LGM-30 Minuteman III, 1968–present
741st Missile Squadron Launch Facilities
Missile Alert Facilities (F-J flights, each controlling 10 missiles) are located as follows: