The Next Steps at Global Strike

Gen. Robin Rand, Air Force Global Strike Command’s first four-star boss, praised his predecessor Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson and the senior leadership of the Air Force for the wide range of changes the command has experienced over the past year and a half. “We are in a much different place than we were 15, 18 months ago,” Rand said on Sept. 16 during the four star forum at ASC15. Rand said he wants to continue the “positive efforts” made across the nuclear enterprise, adding he was on Capitol Hill this week to meet members and staff and talk about command priorities. His first priority and “one I wasn’t as fluent in when I came into the job” is the importance of recapitalizing nuclear command and control systems. These systems are a “critical function for our nation and our decision makers,” and USAF has the lead on 75 percent of these systems across the enterprise. Rand said he will work with the other major commands who own the various systems to make sure they are modernized and are “able to deliver on—God forbid—?our worst day,” so the national leadership can communicate. The second prioirity is to modernize “where we can” in both the Minuteman III ICBM fleet and AFGSC’s UH-1 helicopters. Rand also wants to ensure the smooth integration of the B-1B into AFGSC, which will occur on Oct. 1. Rand said AFGSC must also be prepared to accept the Long-Range Strike Bomber and “drive it” to initial operational capability in the mid 2020s.