Command's first year charts path of excellence

  • Published
  • By Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski
  • Air Force Global Strike Command commander
Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton Schwartz, emphasized the importance of our command and mission during the Air Force Association conference in Washington D.C. last week when he said, "Our stewardship of two of the Nation's three legs of nuclear deterrence must always remain ironclad." We'll soon celebrate a significant anniversary in the establishment of this command -- our achievement of full operational capability one year ago.

At that time, we accomplished the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force's requirements to establish a single command responsible for maintaining, operating and supporting two-thirds of our Nation's strategic, nuclear capable forces.

The Chief explained our progress to a cross-cutting audience of over 2,000 Airmen, journalists, Air Force supporters and business leaders by saying, "We have implemented significant organizational changes to strengthen direct oversight and accountability by the Air Force's most senior leaders, including Secretary Donley and me; invested heavily in our nuclear professionals; and institutionalized a rigorous and transparent inspection process. Without resting on our laurels, we can be proud of the result: a nuclear enterprise that is renewed and focused on its commitment to avoiding critical performance shortfalls."

Strengthening the nuclear enterprise remains the number one priority to the Air Force. However, I agree with the Chief when he says that no matter how much ground we have gained in restoring this critical mission, our pursuit of perfection is never complete. I see our efforts toward perfection everyday in the ideas Airmen develop to improve how we do the mission, the daily attention to detail across the command and the pride of accomplishment at a job well-done.

My hat's off to you -- the men and women of Air Force Global Strike Command, for accepting the special trust and responsibility for this vital mission.

We'll stay the course as we continue to establish the Global Strike culture of excellence, balance our nuclear and conventional missions and give our national leaders critical, strategic capabilities that safeguards peace for our nation and our allies.

We're also working hard to sustain our legacy platforms, such as our B-52H fleet, which recently celebrated its 50th year in operational service. Maintaining a sharp combat edge with systems that are well beyond the serviceable life we expected them to have is only possible through the hard work and dedication of our total force team of Airmen. We must remain committed to updating our nuclear and conventional combat edge for the next 50 years, though, which is why our senior leaders remain committed to our mission as the top Air Force priority.

Thanks again for all you do for our Air Force and our nation and for making our first fully operational year a huge step in the right direction.