WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. - Gen. Kevin Chilton, U.S. Strategic Command commander, addresses team Whiteman during an All-Hands Call here, Dec. 1. General Chilton's speech focused on the importance of Air Force Global Strike Command and nuclear deterrence. (U.S. Air Force base photo by Senior Airman Carlin Leslie) (Released)
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. — The commander of U.S. Strategic Command visited all five Air Force Global Strike Command bases in two days, telling Airmen "there is no higher calling" than the nuclear deterrence mission.
Speaking to hundreds of Airmen at All-Hands calls at each stop, Gen. Kevin Chilton emphasized how Global Strike Airmen support the larger Strategic Command mission. Global Strike Command's main role is to provide operationally capable forces to U.S. Strategic Command, in the combatant command structure.
"This mission demands performance and perfection every day that, as a team, we must achieve," General Chilton said. It may sometimes be difficult "to juggle so many balls and not drop them," he said, stressing that the nuclear deterrence mission "is made of crystal, and we cannot drop that ball because the consequences would be felt worldwide. "
General Chilton was accompanied at each base Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 by Air Force Global Strike Command commander Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz. They traveled to Minot AFB, N.D. , Malmstrom AFB, Mont. , and F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo. , Tuesday and wrapped up with Whiteman AFB, Mo. , and Barksdale on Wednesday.
"Each and every one of you, no matter what job you hold, is a part of the team," General Chilton said. "There is no higher calling in this uniform than the duty you perform. "
The general explained that nuclear weapons are necessary and said he believes they will be "absolutely essential for many years to come. " General Chilton said he believes nuclear deterrence has helped to prevent worldwide conventional war since 1945, saying "the long shadow of deterrence capability is still here. "
"That is the power of the nuclear deterrent - it absolutely underpins conventional might," said General Chilton, a former 8th Air Force commander whose headquarters is at Offutt AFB.
Quoting former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Nathan Twining, General Klotz said "forces that cannot win will not deter. " Global Strike Command Airmen have proven that they are warriors and winners, General Klotz said.
"I want to thank each and every one of you for what you have done to create this new major command - a command solely focused on the nuclear deterrence and global strike mission," General Klotz said. "I am personally very proud of each and every one of you. "