An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

AFGSC Commander delivers keynote during ROTC summit

  • Published
  • By Maj. Lauren Linscott
  • Air Force Global Strike Command

Gen. Thomas Bussiere, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, offered the keynote speech for the Giant Leaps Summit at Purdue University, Feb. 24.

The Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Detachment 220 Cadet Delta hosted the event, bringing together academia, industry and Department of Defense professionals to discuss the future of national defense.

One of the cadet organizers of the summit discussed the focus of the weekend’s activities.

“It’s important to have this event to increase awareness for our detachment of what the Space Force is and does,” said Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Weber, Detachment 220 Director of Space Operations. “Additionally, many fellow Purdue students are going to industry with a lot of them in space and air industries. Understanding how the Air Force and Space Force work together is highly important for going into those roles to better make products.”

During a social prior to the event as well as the opening of the engagement, Bussiere discussed the need for continued focus on space operations, especially in relation to the Air Force Global Strike Command mission. 

“Space and air are integrated in the enterprise,” said Bussiere. “Continued deterrence fits hand in glove when it comes to space, and we can’t do anything with any of this without industry or the intellectual power of our academics.”

He also outlined the modernization efforts underway in AFGSC, to include the Sentinel program— the replacement for the current Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile— B-52J Stratofortress upgrade, and B-21 Raider on-ramping.  

Throughout the rest of the day’s events, breakout groups gathered to discuss topics ranging from strategic deterrence in space, great power competition and women in space.

However, beyond the focus on technical capabilities and the steps needed to effectively compete with China and Russia, Bussiere and other speakers also offered mentorship and guidance to the next generation of Air and Space Force leaders.

“Integrity, character and discipline are the foundation,” said Bussiere. “Have a deep understanding of who you are and your values, and don’t ever mortgage that. You will be challenged: life will challenge you. Other folks will challenge you. Combat will challenge you. Be true to who you are.”

Most importantly, though, the general emphasized the importance of every Airman and Guardian in the enterprise.

“Our most powerful weapon in our arsenal doesn’t come with a serial or tail number,” said Bussiere. “Our most power weapon system in the Department of the Air Force comes with a social security number.”

Over 110 cadets from 29 detachments and 12 industry partners attended the summit.