Tag Archives: Barksdale AFB

Air Force Global Strike Command Reaches Full Operational Capability



By Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs

Here’s something a little different. With the edge coming off the heat in the northwest Louisiana “Ark-La-Tex” region and with Air Force Global Strike Command’s just-declared Full Operational Capability under their belt, the vast majority of the 900 full-time members of the headquarters staff gathered outside the Global Strike Command headquarters building at Barksdale Air Force Base for a family photo of sorts Oct. 21. The temperature on picture day was sunny and an unseasonably warm 85 degrees with very low fall humidity of less than 50 percent.

What the group accomplished was not just a first-ever headquarters staff photo (“suitable for framing”) but the culmination of a remarkably fast build-up of the first all-new major command in nearly 30 years, from scratch. Members of the headquarters gathered for the picture, recognizing the Command’s rapid growth from about 50 full-time and 50 temporary duty employees to nearly 900 full-time staff in less than 14 months.

In remarks after the photograph, Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, Global Strike Command commander, praised Barksdale’s host 2d Bomb Wing and community leaders for their support providing workspace, living space, schools and a welcome reception to members of the new command. Imagine being the 2d Bomb Wing, already having a numbered Air Force headquarters (8th Air Force) on base and then being tasked to bed-down, as they call it, about 900 new people, a new three-star commander, and all the facilities and housing they would need to get their jobs done starting immediately and finishing in about a year’s time. Apparently, from the general’s remarks, the men and women of the 2d Bomb Wing succeeded. Their vice commander, Col. Tom Hesterman, and wing Command Chief Master Sgt. Joe Ann Pace represented the wing in the photo.

Not only that, the general praised the local Shreveport-Bossier City community for their welcoming attitude and Southern Hospitality in assisting with the transition. On stage with the general and Global Strike Command Chief Master Sgt. Jack Johnson were community leaders Mr. Doug Rogers, of the local military affairs committee, and Mr. Murray Viser and Ms. Linda Biernacki, who are civilian advisors to the commander.

Good job to all in building a command without the command’s three missile wings and three bomb wings missing a beat! Obviously there were some heroic efforts by the 2d Bomb Wing to bring all those new folks and new mission on base so quickly.

Air Force Global Strike Command is now full-up, providing combat-ready forces for nuclear deterrence and global strike operations with, as they say, “a special trust and responsibility for the most powerful weapons in our Nation’s arsenal,” and abiding by their motto: To Deter and Assure.


Visit to the 917th Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base–Passion for the Job

Maja Checks out B-52 Cockpit

Rarely do people find a job that they’re passionate about. We frequently hear from our Airmen that they love their jobs and that serving their country is the best thing they ever did. Yet, the Air Force also employees thousands of civilians and contractors to help support the mission. One of those civilian employees is Maja Stevanovich, who I’ve known for a couple years through Twitter and other social media sites. We only met in person this for the first time at this year’s Milblog Conference.  Maja currently works for Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs. She started there a few months ago, but has been a longtime supporter of the Air Force, and the military, through her participation as a milblogger. She has written about the Air Force numerous times on her blog, Not Your Average Brooklynette.

For her to have the opportunity to move from passionate blogger to being employed by the service branch she loves was a great opportunity. And so, after writing about the Air Force for years, Maja sent me the link to a post for Air Force Live (as shared from her blog). Maja recently had the opportunity to spend the day with the 917th Wing of the Air Force Reserve Command “and got to learn about their remarkable mission and the part they take in national security.” The 917th Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, is home to both A-10 and B-52 aircraft. The A-10 schoolhouse mission is to train A/O A-10 pilots in initial qualification, forward air control and night vision goggles. The B-52 combat mission is to employ the bomber in support of Air Force worldwide conventional commitments. In addition to writing about their mission, she has some great photos of her day there.

B-52 Stratofortress at Barksdale AFB

Take the opportunity to visit Maja’s blog, and please be sure to check out Milblogging.com for links to thousands of other milblogs. The milblog community is an important part of the Department of Defense. The people who write these blogs are active duty, retired military, spouses, friends, families, or simply military enthusiasts. They support our mission and write about aspects of the military that public affairs or the news may not cover. And you never know, your passion may turn into a career just like Maja’s did.

Paul F. Bove, Air Force Public Affairs Agency

Global Strike Command assumes ICBM mission

AFGSCShieldOn December 1, 2009, the Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) gained three missile wings, one each at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.; Malmstrom AFB, Mont.; and Minot AFB, N.D.  The new command, activated in August, will assume the 20th Air Force mission, including that organization’s responsibility for the all of the United States’ 450 ICBMs.  Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz, Commander, AFGSC, welcomed the Airmen who will now fall under his command. Below is the transcript of his welcome address.

To the Men and Women of 20th Air Force and the 576th Flight Test Squadron

On December 1st, the Nation’s intercontinental ballistic missile force will transfer to Air Force Global Strike Command.  This action marks yet another milestone in the comprehensive roadmap laid out by the Secretary of the Air Force and our Chief of Staff to strengthen both the capability and the credibility of the Air Force nuclear enterprise.  It also reflects the Air Force’s firm and unshakable conviction that the most powerful weapons in our Nation’s arsenal are a special trust and responsibility – and, one of the Air Force’s top priorities!  Consolidating the ICBM force and the long-range, nuclear-capable bomber force under a single major command will enhance our ability to uphold the high standards required to operate, maintain, secure and support nuclear deterrence and global strike forces.

Even though the Cold War has ended, the world remains a dangerous and uncertain place. For this reason, the strategic nuclear triad continues to be the foundation of our national deterrent posture.  Each one of the triad’s three legs – the ICBM, the long-range bomber, and the sea-launched ballistic missile – makes a unique and complementary contribution to our national security.  The ICBM leg is the most available and responsive to national leadership.  Continuously on alert and deployed in 450 widely dispersed locations, the overall size and characteristics of the Minuteman III force presents any potential adversary with an almost insurmountable challenge should he contemplate an attack.  He cannot disarm the ICBM force without using up almost all of his own forces and, in the process, leaving himself vulnerable to the remaining two legs of the triad.  Therefore, he has no incentive to strike in the first place.  That’s the point.  In this way, the ICBM contributes immeasurably to both deterrence and stability in a crisis.

For this reason, a safe, secure and credible ICBM force – and a long-range, nuclear-capable bomber force — remains a critical Air Force mission and responsibility.  For the women and men of Global Strike Command that means we have an extraordinarily important mission; noble and worthy work to perform; work that demands the utmost in professionalism, discipline, excellence, and pride.

Everyone in Twentieth Air Force and the 576 FLTS should know that the entire senior leadership of the Air Force is extremely proud of each and every one of you, and of what you do every day.  With every alert tour, with every dispatch, every post, and every test you demonstrate over and over again that you truly are among the best and brightest who have ever served in the Air Force.

Now, as a member of the Air Force’s newest major command, you’ll be a valued member of an elite and highly-disciplined team – a team that values individual responsibility for success, uncompromising adherence to standards, superior technical and weapon system expertise, and pride in our nuclear heritage and mission.  Our Nation’s senior leaders and our fellow citizens are counting on you to get it absolutely right—every time.

Our ultimate success in this important work depends upon everyone assigned to Global Strike Command.  As your Commander, I promise to do all within my power to ensure you get the right guidance, right manpower, and right resources required to do your job; and, to ensure the well-being of you and your families.  It’s my honor and privilege to serve alongside you as together we build a model command!

Air Force Global Strike Command activated

Air Force officials stood up a new major command to oversee all of its nuclear forces in an activation ceremony Aug. 7 at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

The activation of the Air Force Global Strike Command is part of a broader, comprehensive strategy to ensure proper focus on providing nuclear deterrents and global strike forces for the joint strike team.  In a speech from Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, he told ceremony attendees the nuclear weapons mission has been balanced against other priorities, but after several decades, the Air Force has seen the strains of spreading the mission against three major commands.  Today’s activation is the next important step in an ongoing effort to establish and sustain a standard of excellence in nuclear operations.

Lieutenant General Frank Klotz assumed command of the AFGSC.  In doing so, he asserted that “the activation today is not an endpoint; rather it’s a milestone in a process of continuous improvement in the pursuit of excellence.”

Global Strike Command activation ceremony

Today at 10:30 (CST) [11:30 EST], Gen. Norton A. Schwartz will preside over the activation of Air Force Global Strike Command at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.  Air Force Global Strike Command is a new command focused on and dedicated to the nuclear deterrence and global strike missions. The AFGSC will provide combat ready forces to conduct strategic nuclear deterrence and global strike operations in support of Combatant Commanders.

When fully operational, the AFGSC will encompass 23,000 Airmen from 8th Air Force at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. and 20th Air Force at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., consisting of six operational wings and two squadrons, the 576th at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and the 625th Strategic Operations Squadron at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.

Follow @AFPAA on Twitter for information during this historic event. You can also watch the ceremony streaming Live on the Pentagon Channel (http://www.pentagonchannel.mil/). High resolution imagery of the ceremony will be available on Digital Video & Imagery Distribution System (http://www.dvidshub.net/?script=images/images_main.php).