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USAF NC3 Center welcomes new commander

Col. Jablow relinquishes command

Col. Mark Jablow (right), outgoing Air Force Nuclear Command, Control and Communications Center commander, passes the guidon to Gen. Timothy Ray, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, during a change of command ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, July 30, 2019. Jablow has been the commander of the Air Force NC3 Center since February 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stuart Bright)

Col. Craig Ramsey takes command

Col. Craig Ramsey (right), incoming Air Force Nuclear Command, Control and Communications Center commander, receives the guidon to Gen. Timothy Ray, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, during a change of command ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, July 30, 2019. The Air Force NC3 Center's mission is to ensure national leadership has a survivable, secure and resilient path for issuing nuclear orders to the warfighter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stuart Bright)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --

Col. Craig Ramsey took command of the U.S. Air Force Nuclear Command, Control and Communications Center during a ceremony here July 30.

The Air Force NC3 Center is a sub-organization of Air Force Global Strike Command, tasked to provide technical and operational support to maintain the health of communication links between the National Military Command Authority and the nuclear warfighters of the Air Force.


Gen. Timothy Ray, AFGSC commander, presided over the ceremony.

“When the Air Force started working to rebuild the nuclear enterprise 10 years ago, there were a number of challenges facing NC3 … and we needed a better game plan,” Ray said. “So we stood up this center, and now that we face this new chapter in global security, what we call the Great Power Competition, it is absolutely more important than ever.”

The Air Force NC3 mission ensures national leadership has a survivable, secure and resilient communication path for issuing nuclear orders to the warfighter. It also provides a focal point for support to all Air Force elements of the National NC3 System. 

“It calls for a change in the way we think, the way we operate, the way we train, the way we acquire, the way we produce,” Ray added. “It’s a new chapter of adaptability in the technology realm that we’re going into. At a time when so many countries look to have us provide that stability, that nuclear arsenal, it’s incredibly important.”

Ray told those in attendance that while Ramsey has some big shoes to fill, he has absolute confidence in his ability to lead this vital Air Force center.

Ramsey takes command with 27 years of experience as a career nuclear officer who served at all three of the Air Force’s intercontinental ballistic missile bases. He was the commander of the 576th Flight Test Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and has also worked on the AFGSC staff, Air Staff and Joint Staff. Most recently, he served as the vice commander of the 91st Missile Wing at Minot AFB, North Dakota.

As he assumed command, Ramsey praised the men and women of the NC3 center for their hard work in supporting this important Air Force mission.

"In the past two years, this newly-formed center has tackled some of the most daunting tasks across the nuclear enterprise, and I know there is much more to be done, but there is no way I’m going to do it myself,” he said. “The challenges are real and difficult, but we’re going to have to do it together."

As the team bid farewell to Col. Mark Jablow, who will retire after 28 years of service, Ray praised his leadership as the first commander of the Air Force NC3 Center.

Before relinquishing command, Jablow reflected on his time at the NC3 Center.

“I can’t say I knew much about NC3 two-and-a-half years ago,” Jablow said. “I was a conventional bomber guy, and I did some conventional work on the ground, but my boss asked me to go take this on. Fortunately, I wasn’t alone. I had a whole team already on the ground who could start teaching me about what this mission is, and I had some great partners around the Air Force and with industry, so it made it doable. Thank you all.”