The US can’t afford not to modernize its nuclear force, especially its land-based missiles, according to a new report from AFA’s Mitchell Institute, which was released on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Speaking during the rollout ceremony, Lt. Gen. Jack Weinstein, deputy chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration, said “the globe is not getting any safer” so it is critical that a modernized land-based missile be acquired now to support the extension of American military and diplomatic power. Retired Maj. Gen. Roger Burg, who authored the report and once oversaw the nation’s ICBM force, said the high alert level of the Minuteman III missiles serves as the backbone of the nuclear deterrent and commanders need the “stabilizing” character of a new ground-based missile system in the face of more aggressive and better nuclear-armed adversaries. He also emphasized that the current system, though still a capable deterrent force, is becoming more and more costly to maintain and sustain. Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), co-chairman of the Senate ICBM coalition, who also spoke at the ceremony, said the 25-year cost of a modernized Minuteman force—some $42 billion—was actually $20 billion less than the annual fraud in the Medicare program. It’s also the least expensive of all elements of the nuclear deterrent to operate in a modernized mode, he added. Hoeven said that in the face of massive Russian and Chinese nuclear modernization, as well as North Korean nuclear threats, the US must modernize its nuclear force, especially a new Ground Based Strategic Deterrent. (See also: Burg’s op-ed in Breaking Defense.)
Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. provided a keynote address at AFA's virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference on Sept. 14, 2020. Here is a transcript of his speech and the following interview with Air Force Magazine Editor-in-Chief Tobias Naegele.
The "Industry Perspectives: How to Align Private Sector with Requirements of the USSF" panel held as part of the Air Force Association's virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference featured a discussion with Tory Bruno, Bruce Chesley, Blake Larson, and Rick Ambrose.
This video features Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matthew P. Donovan's "Strategic Plan for Personnel and Readiness" session from the Air Force Association's virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference.
This video captures a panel entitled "An Effects-Based Approach to Force Structure Decisions: A Mitchell Institute Session" featuring Lt. Gen. David S. Nahom, Lt. Gen. S. Clinton Hinote, Lt. Gen. William J. Liquori, Jr., and William LaPlante from the Air Force Association's virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference.
This video captures the panel entitled "The Right Mix of Stand-in/Stand-off Capability: A Mitchell Institute Session" with Gen. Timothy M. Ray, Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach, and Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian that was held during the Air Force Association's virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference.
Sept. 30, 2020
"The New Ops Normal for Families" panel at the Air Force Association's 2020 virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference featured Sharene Brown, wife of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.; Mollie Raymond, wife of Space Force Chief of Space Operations John W. "Jay" Raymond; Rahn Bass,…
Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett provided a keynote address at AFA's virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference on Sept. 14, 2020. Here is a transcript of that speech.
Sept. 30, 2020
Chief Master Sgt. Nathaniel M. Perry Jr., Chief Master Sgt. Mary Polanco, Chief Master Sgt. Brian P. Kruzelnick, and Chief Master Sgt. Tony Whitehead joined a discussion on "Leading During a Pandemic: What Our Airmen Need to Excel" during the Air Force Association's virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference. The…
Sept. 30, 2020
An MQ-9 on Sept. 10 doubled its missile capacity, carrying eight AGM-114 Hellfires for the first time, thanks to a new software upgrade. The 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron flew the Reaper at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., demonstrating the new capability, which is part of the MQ-9 Operational Flight…