Five years ago today, Air Force Global Strike Command stood up in a ceremony at Barksdale AFB, La., charged with reinvigorating the Air Force’s nuclear enterprise, AFGSC boss Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson wrote in a commentary on the occasion published Wednesday. “Although sometimes challenging, the 25,000 dedicated professionals of [AFGSC] made it possible, remaining focused on the strategic value of our nuclear deterrent,” Wilson noted. Wilson said AFGSC’s creation was a “historic milestone,” that helped re-establish a clear line of authority and responsibility for the Air Force’s nuclear deterrent and conventional global strike forces. Wilson said AFGSC has accomplished a great deal since its standup, including the improvement of readiness rates by nearly 40 percent and decreasing security deviations by nearly 50 percent from 2010 to 2013. In a reference to the reforms that have followed troubles in the ICBM community, Wilson wrote AFGSC airmen “recognized that certain aspects of our culture have hindered progress and growth instead of encouraging our people to provide continuous feedback.” Going forward, airmen should “feel empowered to identify challenges and propose innovative solutions” to leave their units better than before, he added. (See also Global Strike Evolution in the August issue of Air Force Magazine.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.