USSTRATCOM continues to rely on various task forces for the planning and execution of its global missions. These include:
Air Force refueling aircraft greatly enhance the command's capability to conduct global combat and reconnaissance operations. Tankers are assigned to 18th Air Force, Scott AFB, Ill., with headquarters at Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, Ill.
The Navy's E-6B Mercury aircraft provide a survivable communications link between national decision-makers and the nation's strategic forces. An airborne command post, the E-6B enables the President and the Secretary of Defense to directly contact crews on the nation's ballistic missile submarines, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles and long-range bombers. E-6B aircraft are assigned to Strategic Communications Wing One, Tinker AFB, Okla.
Ballistic Missile Submarines
Considered the most survivable leg of the nation's strategic forces, Navy ballistic missile submarines, or SSBNs, provide launch capability from around the globe using the Trident missile weapon system. Atlantic SSBNs are based at Kings Bay, Ga., with headquarters at Commander, Submarine Forces U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Naval Base Norfolk, Va; Pacific SSBNs are based at Bangor, Wash., with headquarters at Commander Submarine Forces U.S. Pacific Fleet, Naval Base Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Strategic Bomber and Reconnaissance Aircraft
Aircraft assigned to 8th Air Force, Barksdale AFB, La., are capable of deploying air power to any area of the world. B-52 Stratofortress heavy bombers are based at Barksdale AFB, La., and Minot AFB, N.D. B-2 Spirit stealth bombers are stationed at Whiteman AFB, Mo. Worldwide reconnaissance aircraft assigned to 8th AF that support the USSTRATCOM mission include the RC-135 Rivet Joint, Offutt AFB, Neb., and the U-2S Dragon Lady, Beale AFB, Calif.
Land-based Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles
Air Force ICBMs, dispersed in hardened silos across the nation's central tier, provide a quick-reacting and highly reliable component to the nation's strategic forces. Minuteman III missile launch control centers are based from F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.; Malmstrom AFB, Mont.; and Minot AFB, N.D. ICBM crews report to 20th Air Force, F.E. Warren AFB.