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News | March 5, 2020

New construction begins at Offutt, SACCS to receive new home

By Justin Oakes 8th Air Force/J-GSOC Public Affairs

Construction began for a new state-of-the-art data center at Offutt AFB last week that will house a key nuclear command, control and communications (NC3) system.

SACCS, or the Strategic Automated Command and Control System, relays nuclear and conventional emergency action messages and targeting information to fielded forces across the Air Force. For more than 40 years, the system’s core (an IBM Series 1 main frame computer) has remained powered and running uninterrupted in the same location.

However, the system is soon to find a new home.

“The relocation of the operational SACCS core is a crucial step in the modernization of the system,” said Lt. Col. Jason Rossi, 595th Strategic Communications Squadron commander. “The new location will provide additional space and increased security while allowing for many of the necessary upgrades to the system that are part of the Air Force’s NC3 modernization effort.”

The new data center is expected to have the latest and greatest in redundant and uninterrupted power systems, security and anti-terrorism systems, and system hardening to ensure SACCS survivability for decades to come.

“SACCS is a crucial link in our nation’s nuclear deterrence mission and is one of many systems used daily by fielded nuclear and non-nuclear forces,” said Lt. Col. Hayley James, 595th Command and Control Group deputy commander. “SACCS is very much one piece of our overall deterrence equation.”

The updates to SACCS are part of a much broader update to the present-day NC3 architecture that will continue to counter a full spectrum of current and future adversarial capabilities, to include cyber-attack and network defense. As SACCS evolves to leverage commercial systems a Network Operations Center/Security Operations Center will stand up to ensure persistent cyber and network defense. 

Airmen, civilians and contractors are a critical piece to this puzzle. 

“This force structure will require specialized knowledge, and our human capital must be appropriately sized and trained,” said Rossi. “My Airmen are superstars and they know how to get things done, but it is dangerous to assume that we can operate with new commercial-based systems in the same way we are operating today. As cyber threats evolve our force structure and defenses must evolve to counter them.”

Construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of year.