A Rose by Any Other Name… or… SAC IS Back (sorta):
Nuclear Roadmap: Air Force Global Strike Command, a new major command to be led by a three-star general, will be activated by next September, with responsibility for the Air Force's nuclear missiles and nuclear-capable bombers, service leaders formally announced Friday. The move is the centerpiece of the Air Force's response to nuclear weapons-related problems that have surfaced over the last year. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, presenting his service's new nuclear roadmap to reporters at the Pentagon, said the plan is the result of "painful lessons learned" from a series of internal and external reviews. Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said the roadmap highlights a "back to basics approach" to tightening up the nuclear enterprise. The new command will comprise the ICBM force of 20th Air Force—now under Air Force Space Command—and the B-52 and B-2 bombers of 8th Air Force—now under Air Combat Command. According to the organizational chart in the roadmap, 8th AF and 20th AF would become AFGSC elements. The conventional-only B-1B bombers of 12th AF will remain under ACC's control. Maj. Gen. Donald Alston, director of Nuclear Plans and Operations, who oversaw development of the roadmap, said a provisional command and commander should be in place "in the next two or three months." Alston, who is the likely officer to head the service's new A10 Air Staff dedicated to nuclear matters, described the September 2009 target for operational status as an "aggressive" timetable. He declined to explain why Global Strike Command will be led by a three- and not a four-star general, except to say that several leadership options were considered.
Sorting out the Nuke vs. Conventional Roles: The new Air Force Global Strike Command (see above) will have charge of nuclear-capable bombers, but will provide the aircraft to any theater commander who requests them for conventional missions, Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley said Friday. Gen. Norton Schwartz, USAF Chief of Staff, said that Air Combat Command, at least for the time being, will have responsibility for setting requirements for the new 2018 bomber, although he acknowledged that the new aircraft would have a nuclear role. The commander of the soon-to-be-minted AFGSC will have responsibility for advocating new ICBM and nuclear-capable bombers. Gen. C. Donald Alston, who developed USAF's new nuclear roadmap, said that the new command will provide nuclear-specific requirements to be used in developing the capabilities of the 2018 bomber. Donley also said the Global Strike commander may be involved in meeting any requirements for a conventionally armed ICBM, should the nation pursue one, but that US Strategic Command, which provides deterrence and global strike, would state any such requirements.
No word if any of the SAC accoutrements will return, e.g., the motto “Peace Is Our Profession” and the heraldry seen above. Resurrecting some of SAC’s “stuff” ain’t a bad idea, in my book. Nope. Not at all. But then again, I’m an Ol’ Fart who might be prone to a lil nostalgia in this space… even if I never actually served in SAC. I can claim some association, though, what with having spent a little over three years (1964 – 1967) in a tenant unit on Vandenberg AFB, back in SAC’s heyday.
(h/t: AFA’s Daily Report)
Also from the Daily Report and unrelated to the above, but of note for Cannon Airplane Patch and its neighbors:
Getting Ready to Move: Air Force Special Operations Command's 16th Special Operations Squadron is celebrating 40 years of operations and working toward moving its whole shebang from
So… more on the target move-in date, announced this past May. FWIW… I’ve noticed increased activity on the flight line every so often when making my weekly trips out to the base and am beginning to see C-130s over P-Ville from time to time, as well. Good stuff.