OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --
The leader of the U.S. Air Force’s nuclear enterprise visited with Offutt-based servicemembers responsible for the Air Force nuclear command and control communications mission Sept. 13, 2018.
During his visit, Gen. Timothy Ray, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, connected with the men and women of the 595th Command and Control Group and National Airborne Operations Center key components of the National Military Command system for the President, the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
During each stop, Ray relayed to the Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines just how vitally important their mission-set is; the tremendous job they are already doing; and challenged them to continuously strive for improvement with boldness.
“Airpower is not an easy business, but we, as Americans, have written the book on it,” Ray told a diverse group of Global Strikers over lunch. “Whether we like it or not, the world has changed and we need to embrace that reality. We need a relentless pursuit of excellence and I need you to be as lethal as you can be with what you have while being honest with me and yourselves.”
As AFGSC commander, a position he assumed less than a month ago, the general is responsible for the nation’s fleet of Minuteman III ICBMs, all strategic bombers, and ensuring continuous command and control over them.
This capability, paired with the resolve to carry-out the mission, is an integral component of deterring America’s adversaries and potential adversaries while assuring Allies and partners of our commitments to them.
In a whirlwind tour, Ray made it a point to spend time with the entirety of the 595th CACG and introduce himself to each of its four squadrons – the 1st Airborne Command Control Squadron, the 595th Strategic Communications Squadron, the 595th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and the 625th Strategic Operations Squadron – along with spending time with a NAOC team.
While Ray’s individual discussions with each group were unique because of their different mission-sets, the general took time to relay the vision for his focus-areas which encompass the entirety of the command.
“I want our focus to be on Excellence, Teams and People,” Ray said. “We must be relentless in our pursuit of excellence, which is different than perfection. It’s ok to have failures in training; it’s how you learn. As Airmen, we are natural integrators and see how things come together. We need to understand our immediate teams, but also how we fit into the larger team and enterprise. Our people – our Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines – are a weapons system and the difference between us and everyone else. My predecessor did a great job, and I want to continue and expand on his efforts, to ensure we look after each other physically, spiritually, mentally and socially.”
The 595th CACG was activated Oct. 6, 2016 and brought under the AFGSC umbrella to refocus and advocate better for national and nuclear security with the realignment of the 1 ACCS, and the 625 STOS while the 595 AMXS and 595 SCS, were newly-created.
The NAOC operations teams, made-up of joint personnel including Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines from a variety of specialties serving aboard the E-4B aircraft, a militarized version of the Boeing 747-200 based at Offutt AFB, provide a highly-survivable, command, control and communications center to direct U.S. forces, execute emergency war orders and coordinate actions by civil authorities in case of national emergency.
While the E-4B, joined those units in consolidating under the 595th CACG in 2016, the NAOC alert teams which fly on it, did not. Those operations teams continued to fall under the direct authority of U.S. Strategic Command until late July when, they too, joined the AFGSC family.