Get on With It

The United States needs to extend the life of the B61 nuclear bomb because that weapon remains vital to supporting the US’ extended deterrent and NATO’s nuclear mission, said Maj. Gen. Garrett Harencak, the Air Force’s assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration. “The fact of the matter is we need that weapon,” he said during a June 7 address on Capitol Hill sponsored by the AFA, the National Defense Industrial Association, and Reserve Officers Association. The United States supports NATO’s nuclear role with dual-capable aircraft—F-15Es and F-16s based in Europe—that can carry nuclear bombs in addition to conventional weapons. “We’ve always been committed to the DCA mission in Europe, and we remain so,” said Harencak. Refreshing the B61 is one step to “make sure the weapons we [have] there and how we store them remain modern, safe, secure, and effective,” he said. (For more coverage of Harencak’s talk, see Something to Talk About and A Healthy Crew.) (See also No Wavering.)