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AF releases nuclear enterprise’s future plan

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force recently announced a long-term vision for the service’s nuclear enterprise.

The plan, signed by the chief of staff and secretary of the Air Force and approved by the 4-star-level Nuclear Oversight Board, provides a framework for advancing and monitoring the overall health of the Air Force nuclear enterprise, supporting infrastructure and processes.

The plan is organized into three main sections. The first explains the Air Force’s perspective on 21st century deterrence and assurance, and how that differs from the Cold-War era.

The second section outlines five strategic vectors for the nuclear enterprise, and the final segment explains how the plan will be used to monitor and advance progress across the enterprise.

“All Airmen should understand the basics of the deterrence mission and its importance to our Air Force and the nation,” said Maj. Gen. Garrett Harencak, the Air Force’s assistant chief of staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration.

To promote understanding of the mission, the first part of the plan explains how Airmen across the Air Force contribute to national security by providing nuclear capabilities that deter potential adversaries, and assure our allies and partners.

The section concludes by describing the capabilities across the Air Force that contribute to effective deterrence and outlines the Air Force's commitment to sustain and modernize capabilities to meet the changing demands of the 21st century.

Section two of the plan identifies the “five vectors designed to advance and monitor the overall health of the nuclear enterprise and further develop our Airmen, organizations, processes, capabilities and strategic thinking,” Harencak said.

By outlining a vector for each of these areas, the general said the Air Force will be able to implement a continuous improvement process to assess, develop action plans for improvements, and track the progress in each area.

Finally, the plan outlines how the Nuclear Oversight Board and Nuclear Issues Resolution and Integration Board will oversee efforts to meet plan objectives.

Though it is not intended to supplement any programming guidance, nor outline specific force structures, the plan may be used by planners, programmers and others to inform their efforts, Harencak said.

“We encourage commanders and Airmen at all levels to use the flight plan as a starting point for discussion and debate about deterrence in the changing 21st century environment, and the Air Force role in meeting those challenges,” Harencak added.
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