Thursday, January 22, 2009

In the Running

The Air Force has released a list of six bases, under consideration to host the headquarters of the recently-formed Global Strike Command.
  • Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana
  • F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming
  • Malmstrom AFB, Montana
  • Minot AFB, North Dakota
  • Offut AFB, Nebraska
  • Whiteman AFB, Missouri

Five of the six installations host nuclear-capable bomber units or ICBM wings, which will form the core of Strike Command's mission. The remaining base (Offut) is home to the headquarters of U.S. Strategic Command, which controls all of the nation's nuclear bombers, ICBMs, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

Strike Command is currently operating from a temporary headquarters at Bolling AFB in Washington, D.C. A decision on the command's permanent home is expected by late spring or early summer.

Sources tell In From the Cold that Minot AFB has emerged as an early favorite for Strike Command Headquarters. The North Dakota installation currently hosts a B-52 wing and an ICBM unit. It is the only Air Force base that currently has both a nuclear bomber and missile mission.

But an Air Force official downplayed Minot's supposed advantage. Major General C. Donald Alston, the USAF's Assistant Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration said he didn't think the presence of B-52s and ICBMs would prejudge one base ahead of another.

Only bases with active nuclear missions were considered in the nomination process.

Global Strike Command is part of recent nuclear reforms within the USAF. It will eventually control of all CONUS-based strategic nuclear missions, including those performed by B-52 and B-2 bombers, and Minuteman III ICBMs. The changes came after a pair of embarrassing incidents involving weapons at Minot and the transfer of nuclear components from Hill AFB, Utah.

1 comment:

dpc said...

In function at least, it looks like the AF is reconstituting SAC. I always wondered why the AF disbanded it. That armored fist with the lighting bolts was too militant, perhaps?

On another matter, I hope you'll forgive this communication through the comments as you don't seem to have a direct email address. I'm a fellow blogger. I started 'Behind Blue Lines' ( last fall. I came across a news item a week ago that implied that the US was developing defense cloaking technology in some kind of direct partnership with Chinese entities that must ultimately have ties to the PLA (as does everything in China).

I'd appreciate it if you and Spook could look at the post and the brief research I've done and let me know if there's a story there or if it's simple misreporting. Link is: Alternatively, the post is in the list of 'recent posts' on the blog.

I read your stuff and you both seem to have your heads screwed on straight - and I don't see anyone, media or otherwise - investigating this story (if there is a story). I thought you might have sources who could take this further. Or tell me if I need medication.