NEWS | Jan. 22, 2009

6 bases considered for Global Strike Command

By Michael Hoffman Air Force Times

The Air Force announced Wednesday the six bases where officials are considering stationing the permanent headquarters of Global Strike Command. The six bases are: Barksdale Air Force Base, La. , F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo. , Malmstrom AFB, Mont. , Minot AFB, N.D. , Offutt AFB, Neb. , and Whiteman AFB, Mo.

Five of the six bases have either nuclear bombers or intercontinental nuclear missiles located on their bases, while Offutt is the site of U.S. Strategic Command's headquarters. Minot is the only base that has both nuclear capable bombers "" B-52 Stratofortresses "" and ICBMs.

Air Force officials said they only considered bases with nuclear missions during the nomination process.

""Co-locating the headquarters on an installation where there are significant operational functions associated with nuclear forces will provide positive synergies for this new command,"" said Maj. Gen. C. Donald Alston, Assistant Chief of Staff, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, in a press release.

Global Strike Command will have all of the Air Force's nuclear missions inside the U.S. organized under it as part of the largest organizational shakeup since Strategic Air Command was disbanded in the early 90s. Its creation was announced in November 2008 as part of the Air Force's Nuclear Roadmap designed to reinvigorate the service's nuclear enterprise after it was embarrassed by two errors that involved nuclear weapons.

The provisional headquarters were stood up at Bolling Air Force Base, Md. , on Jan. 12 with plans to stand up the permanent headquarters by September.

Air Force leaders will pick the final location based on the ""availability of requisite expertise, facilities and infrastructure, support capacity, transportation and access, communications and bandwidth, and security to support the [Global Strike Command] headquarters,"" said Capt. Liz Aptekar, an Air Force spokeswoman, in a press release.