Unit helps ensure America's safety

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. James M. Hodgman
  • 55th Wing Public Affairs
The 625th Strategic Operations Squadron, a tenant unit here, was realigned under Air Force Global Strike Command from Air Force Space Command Dec. 1.

Air Force Global Strike Command will oversee all of the service's nuclear forces.

"The creation of this new command reflects the Air Force's firm and unshakeable conviction that nuclear deterrence and global strike operations are a special trust and responsibility, one that we take very seriously," said Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, commander of AFGSC.

While this transition certainly marks a significant milestone for the nation's nuclear forces the unit's movement to AFGSC will have little affect on daily operations, said Lt. Col. Ronald G. Allen Jr., 625th STOS commander.

"The transfer itself will be almost transparent to our unit as we will continue to work through our same chain of command. The major difference now is we belong to a command that is singularly focused on the nuclear mission every day," Colonel Allen said.

Part of the 625th STOS mission is to manage America's ICBM arsenal, something the unit takes very seriously, said Colonel Allen.

The Global Strike Command stood-up during a ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Aug. 7 to develop and provide combat-ready forces for nuclear deterrence and global strike operations in a safe, secure and credible way to support of the President of the United States and Combatant Commanders.

On Dec. 1 AFGSC assumed responsibility of the ICBM mission and is scheduled to gain the nuclear-capable bomber mission Feb. 1, 2010.

The 625th STOS supports U.S. Strategic Command and Global Strike Command with accurate ICBM targeting, precise trajectory analysis, viable and proven airborne launch control system capability and a secure command and control communications system.

"We ensure America's ICBMs are able to hit their targets through a very rigorous verification and validation process identical to the operational environment where they will be employed," Colonel Allen said. "This process ensures targeting is achievable before delivery to operational units."

"Our airborne launch and control crews provide survivable launch capability for the nation's ICBMs by using the E-6B aircraft," Colonel Allen said. "Like ICBM ground crews, ALCS crews are on alert every day of the year to execute their mission, if called upon to do so."

One of the squadron's airborne warriors is Capt. David S. Bristow, an air launch control system officer and an intelligence planner. The captain said he is responsible for commanding and operating the air launch control system, which provides survivable launch capability for the ICBM force. The air launch capability ensures multiple ways to control ICBM launches.

He is also an intelligence officer whose primary mission is to get the right information to the decision makers in order to translate information superiority into decision superiority, he said. Ultimately however, the captain said he contributes to the success of the 625th mission, one he emphasized is critical to the United States and its allies.

Credible nuclear weapons act, "As a stabilizing force for peace, while protecting our nation from attack," Captain Bristow said. "The hard work, expertise and professionalism of the men and women of the 625th ultimately provide credibility for our nation's nuclear deterrent force."

"Managing America's ICBMs, providing flawless ballistic missile engineering analysis, ensuring secure strategic communications, and having Airmen constantly on alert, ready to respond at a moment's notice--that's what the 625th STOS does and what we'll continue to do in the future, to ensure the security of the United States," Colonel Allen said.