NEWS | Dec. 1, 2009

Air Force Global Strike Command officials assume ICBM mission


BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (AFNS) -- Air Force Global Strike Command officials here assume the Air Force's intercontinental ballistic missile mission Dec. 1.

The ICBM transfer is part of a phased approach to unify all Air Force nuclear-capable assets under one command, officials said.

The new command gains three missile wings with the assumption of the 20th Air Force mission: one each from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. ; Malmstrom AFB, Mont. ; and Minot AFB, N.D. Command officials also assume responsibility for all of the United States' 450 ICBMs.

The 576th Flight Test Squadron at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. , as well as the 625th Strategic Operations Squadron at Offutt AFB, Neb. , also now fall under AFGSC. Previously all of those units were part of Air Force Space Command.

"We are well on our way to consolidating all of our Air Force assets in this critical mission area under a single command, one that will serve as a single major command voice to maintain the high standards necessary for stewardship of our nation's most powerful weapons," said Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz, AFGSC commander.

"The creation of this new command reflects the Air Force's firm and unshakable conviction that nuclear deterrence and global strike operations are a special trust and responsibility, one that we take very seriously," the general said.

On Feb. 1, AFGSC officials also will gain 8th Air Force, based at Barksdale AFB, and along with it, 8th Air Force's nuclear-capable bombers. At that time, the command will gain the B-52 Stratofortress wings at Barksdale AFB and Minot AFB, and the B-2 Spirit wing at Whiteman AFB, Mo.

AFGSC stood up in August to provide combat-ready forces to conduct strategic nuclear deterrence and global strike operations in support of the president and combatant commanders.