OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. –, –
Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) deputy commander, visited U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Jan. 18, to meet with command leaders to ensure positive transition of the Department of Defense Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) mission area.
During the past 18 months, both commands worked closely together on the transfer of the CWMD mission set.
“We wanted to ensure, as we conducted the mission transfer of CWMD from USSTRATCOM to USSOCOM, that we had fully coordinated a smooth transition,” said Osterman. “We had communication about resources, missions and areas that we needed cooperation in.”
U.S. Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, USSTRATCOM commander, also recognized the importance of a smooth transition.
“We still have to be critically engaged in this mission at all times,” said Hyten. “We cannot just say that’s somebody else’s job now; it is still critical to the USSTRATCOM priority of strategic deterrence from existential threats pointed at the U.S.”
Osterman’s tour and briefings during his visit to USSTRATCOM enabled him to obtain ideas and learn how USSTRATCOM worked to improve capabilities and resources to find solutions to gaps in CWMD.
“The transfer of the mission set for CWMD opened up broader dialogue between two functional combatant commands facing similar challenges and our approaches toward trans-regional issues working with geographical combatant commands,” said Osterman. “I learned of the other organization’s capabilities and established relationships to fully integrate that mission set.”
These organizations include the center-of-excellence at the University of Nebraska, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and the national laboratories, which will continue to work together to synchronize CWMD.
Osterman, who understands the global needs and multi-domain nature of a global combatant command, recognized the opportunity to continue assisting one another’s commands after receiving capabilities and integration briefings on USSTRATCOM’s priorities.
“I think we can continue strengthening our planning efforts, we can make it easier for the geographic combatant commands with our interaction and support to their activities,” said Osterman. “I really do believe, in this day in age, the effectiveness of all of our units is contingent in many ways on relationships.”
Before departing, Osterman noted how the transfer and his subsequent visit brought USSTRATCOM and USSOCOM together.
“The transfer of the CWMD mission is a good thing,” said Osterman “The complementary activity and things we can accomplish in the future will benefit the nation in terms of national security.”
One of nine DoD unified combatant commands, USSTRATCOM has global strategic missions assigned through the Unified Command Plan that include strategic deterrence; space operations; cyberspace operations; joint electronic warfare; global strike; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and analysis and targeting.