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AF Nuclear Weapons Center reorganizes

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) -- The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center (AFNWC) reorganized its structure March 30, realigning responsibilities, authorities and accountability to better serve the nuclear enterprise.

The center now has three execution directorates, one for intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) systems, a second for air-delivered systems, and a third focused on nuclear technology and interagency engagement. The two new directorates are the Air Delivered Capabilities Directorate and the Nuclear Technology and Interagency Directorate. The existing ICBM Systems Directorate has established a Ground Based Strategic Deterrent Division, ensuring seamless evolution from ICBM sustainment activities to the future Ground Based Strategic Deterrent System.

The U.S. nuclear triad consists of Air Force land-based ICBMs and air-delivered capabilities, along with Navy submarine launched ballistic missiles. In its new organizational structure, the AFNWC now has two directorates directly aligned with the two Air Force legs of the triad; air-delivered capabilities and ICBM systems.

The Nuclear Technology and Interagency Directorate focuses on the unique aspects of nuclear weapons technology and engagement with interagency partners in the nation's nuclear enterprise. This more direct alignment of organization with mission enhances the AFNWC support of the U.S. nuclear deterrence and assurance responsibility; ensuring this mission is expertly executed by acquiring, sustaining and supporting these powerful weapon systems.

The changes are in accordance with the Air Force Program Action Directive 14-06. In the directive, the Air Force outlines exactly what changes will occur in 2015 to improve operations and life cycle management in the nuclear enterprise across Air Force Materiel Command, Air Force Global Strike Command, and United States Air Forces in Europe.

"Our mission is still to deliver nuclear capabilities and winning solutions that warfighters use daily to deter our enemies and assure our allies," said Maj. Gen. Sandra Finan, the commander of AFNWC. "Implementation of this PAD (Product Area Directorate) will better align our organization to that mission."

The ICBM Systems Directorate, referred to as "NI," has several divisions to include ground-based strategic deterrent, Minuteman III, engineering, operations management, program control, and product support.

The Air Delivered Capabilities Directorate, referred to as "ND," has several divisions to include engineering; strategic systems, nuclear weapons systems integration; outside continental U.S. support,; nuclear weapons acquisition; and cruise missile sustainment.

The Nuclear Technology and Interagency Directorate, referred to as "NT," has several divisions to include intelligence; weapons effects; analysis and enterprise modeling, nuclear command, control, and communications; nuclear systems assessments; materiel integration and program development; surety and certification; and nuclear weapons.

Additional organizational changes associated with PAD 14-06 include: the transfer of the 377th Air Base Wing and portions of AFNWC Staff Judge Advocate, Contracting, and Logistics Directorates as well as the Service Logistics Agent function to Air Force Global Strike Command and the maintenance function of AFNWC Operating Location Ramstein Air Base, Germany, to U.S. Air Forces in Europe. These organizations will continue to report through the AFNWC until formally transferred later this year.

There are no physical relocations of personnel associated with this reorganization and the AFNWC headquarters will remain at Kirtland.

According to Finan, the reorganization will streamline processes, improving how professionals within the nuclear enterprise accomplish the mission, strengthening the enterprise and taking care of our most important asset, our people.

"AFNWC professionals are guardians of a special trust," Finan added. "We ensure the vitality of the U.S. nuclear deterrent by providing the president with ready and reliable nuclear forces. Our success depends on everyone within the organization. Regardless of how we're organized, what patch we wear, or what building we occupy, our people remain the single most important factor in mission success."