USSTRATCOM Fleet Master Chief wraps up 34 years of service

By SSgt. Alicia Prakash | U.S. Strategic Command Public Affairs | June 30, 2008

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. – U.S. Strategic Command bid farewell to U.S. Navy Fleet Master Chief William N. Nissen today during a retirement ceremony which celebrated his nearly three-and a half decades of military service.

Nissen served as the senior enlisted advisor to the Commander, USSTRATCOM, responsible for the global command and control of U.S. strategic forces to meet decisive national security objectives. ""[Nissen] closes out his spectacular career at U.S. Strategic Command, serving four years, during a transition and evolutionary period,"" said Gen. Kevin P. Chilton, USSTRATCOM commander.

During his tenure, Nissen witnessed the Command delegate authority for operational and tactical level planning, force execution and day-to-day management of forces to Joint Functional Component Commands or JFCCs. The JFCCs further operationalize assigned missions and focus the command on strategic-level integration and advocacy of Unified Command Plan-assigned missions.

Also while at USSTRATCOM, he transitioned with the Command in the development of the Strategic Knowledge Integration Web, commonly known as the SKI Web. It is a 24-hour Web-based collaborative tool which allows for interactive information sharing on a classified level. The SKI Web operates on real time and is a virtual operation and intelligence meeting.

Nissen was also at USSTRATCOM for an unprecedented evolution, when the Command, along with Defense Threat Reduction Agency, NASA, Missile Defense Agency and others worked together to successfully shoot down a satellite carrying a tank of 1,000 pounds of hydrazine fuel.

Though Nissen's extensive career boasts of many accomplishments and successes in the military, he intended for his retirement ceremony to be about his family and fellow servicemembers, not just about him.

Nissen's daughter, MIDN 3/C Krysta Porterlott, who is attending the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. , opened the ceremony by singing the National Anthem. Nissen also paid homage to his family for their support, to include reciting a poem for his wife. Chilton expressed his gratitude to the family as well.

""Thank you Mom, for letting us have your son for 34 years of service to our country,"" Chilton said to Mrs. Sue Hamilton, Nissen's mother.

Nissen's father, step-mother and sister were also in attendance. The guest speaker, Gen. James E. Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recognized Nissen's commitment to the servicemembers. ""It is not about [Nissen] or about us,"" Cartwright said. ""It is about the [people] you have enabled, touched and opened the door for. ""

The incoming USSTRATCOM senior enlisted leader is Chief Master Sergeant Thomas S. Narofsky, currently Command Chief of the 14th Air Force, Vandenberg Air Force Base and USSTRATCOM Joint Functional Component Command Space.