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Global Strike Command celebrates two years of success

  • Published
  • By Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski
  • Commander, Air Force Global Strike Command
On August 7th, it will have been two years since Air Force Global Strike Command was activated to be "a new major command focused and dedicated to the nuclear and conventional global strike mission--a key component of strategic deterrence."

When we set out on this path two years ago we understood the need to organize our force to drive discipline and professionalism consistent with the highest standards required of us as stewards of nuclear weapons. We were confident that, over time, we would have a force that not only understood the demands of this mission, but embraced the special trust and responsibility the nation has given us.

At this point we cannot declare victory--developing an enduring culture requires a long-term commitment by all in this command, and by Air Force and Department of Defense senior leaders. We are incredibly proud of the gains made by our Airmen and civilians, and echo the words of Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz when he said, "Our successful stand-up was possible because of the commitment, innovative spirit and sheer hard work of Global Strike Command Airmen." We also need to thank Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Norton Schwartz for their unwavering support. They recognized that long range strike and nuclear deterrence were Air Force core functions from our earliest days as a separate service, and those functions remain critically relevant in a multi-polar and uncertain global security environment.

As we have improved our nuclear processes, we have not forgotten our significant conventional responsibilities. The command's conventional global strike and command and control capabilities were used to powerful effect during the beginning days of Operation Odyssey Dawn over Libya. We must continue to have both the discipline and flexibility to balance nuclear and conventional requirements.

Our work in our core mission areas is not without challenges. One of the biggest challenges came just last month when over 1,200 Airmen and family members were forced from their homes in Minot, N.D., as a result of flooding. The support to the flood recovery efforts from across the command and the Air Force was, and continues to be, amazing. The steady and tenacious headquarters staff efforts along with individual and organizational donations provide the most vivid definition of the phrase "Air Force family."

Thank you for all you have done over the past two years to 'To Deter and Assure''s my honor to serve with you!