Air Force Global Strike Command has “no plans” to eliminate one of its nine missile squadrons as it reduces the number of deployed Minuteman III ICBMs by at least 30 to meet the ceilings of the new US nuclear force structure, says Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, AFGSC boss. Instead, Klotz told a Capitol Hill audience on Friday, the command is weighing other “various alternatives” to meet the new cap, which calls for up to 420 deployed single-warhead Minuteman missiles, down from 450 today. “We will present those [alternatives] through the headquarters of the Air Force to the Department of Defense when the time is appropriate,” he said. Klotz was asked if inactivating one of the squadrons might be a way to reduce some overhead costs: Air Force officials are mulling how to shed about $28.3 billion in overhead by 2016.
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.