US Air Force activates Global Strike Command

US Air Force officials stood up a new major command to oversee all of its nuclear forces in an activation ceremony today at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

Air Force Global Strike Command will provide combat ready forces to conduct strategic nuclear deterrence and global strike operations in support of combatant commanders.

"This week we achieved a major milestone in the activation of Air Force Global Strike Command," said Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley. "The command will bring together our strategic nuclear forces under a single commander, and will provide combatant commanders with the forces to conduct strategic nuclear deterrence and global strike operations through intercontinental ballistic missiles, B-2 (Spirit) and B-52 (Stratofortress) operations."

"The activation of Global Strike Command is part of a broader, comprehensive strategy the Air Force is undertaking to ensure we have the proper focus on our critical missions that provide nuclear deterrence and global strike forces for the combatant commander, the joint team and our allies," General Klotz said. Klotz is the first commander of Global Strike Command.

In December, command officials assume responsibility of 20th Air Force at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., and the ICBM force. In February 2010, the command staff gains 8th Air Force at Barksdale AFB and the nuclear-capable bomber force. The 576th Flight Test Squadron at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., as well as the 625th Strategic Operations Squadron at Offutt AFB, Neb., will also fall under the new command. Like other Air Force major commands, Air Force Global Strike Command will be a total force team with the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units performing critical roles and responsibilities. Ultimately, the command will consist of 23,000 people.

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