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Air Force Announces First Details of New Nuclear Command

As GovWin previously blogged about, the Air Force's plans to stand up a cyber command have given way in favor of the creation of a nuclear focused major command, details of which were handed down late last week by the Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, according to the American Forces Press Service.

The new command will be called Global Strike Command. Included in the command will be the following:

  • The 8th Air Force, which is comprised of the Air Force's B-2 Spirit and B-52 Stratofortress bombers and is currently under the Air Combat Command. The 8th Air Force is headquartered at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana; and
  • The 20th Air Force, which operates and maintains the Air Force's intercontinental ballistic missiles. The 20th Air Force is headquartered at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming.

The command will also receive an additional squadron of B-52s that will be mandated by congress.

Nuclear-capable aircraft located in Europe will not be part of the Global Strike Command

At the time of the announcement, no location was given for the command's headquarters, nor was it revealed who will lead the command. It was indicated though that a three-star general will head the command and it is planned to be operational by September.

The reorganization of the Air Force's nuclear program is a direct result of an incident that took place in August, 2007 when an Air Force bomber flew from Barksdale Air Force base to Minot Air Force base carrying six missiles with nuclear warheads attached to the wings. Later that same year, it was discovered that in 2006 top-secret nuclear related material had been sold to Taiwan. The incidents resulted in the forced resignations of both the then Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynn, and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Mosley.

GovWin's members can read about Air Force's other commands in GovWin's Air Force Agency Profile.

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