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AF realigns missions to enhance nuclear support

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- In response to a directive from the secretary of the Air Force and chief of staff of the Air Force, the 377th Air Base Wing in Albuquerque, New Mexico, will realign under Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC), and the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center (AFNWC) will reorganize, combining the AFNWC commander and Air Force program executive officer for strategic systems positions into a single two-star (O-8) position.

The realignment of the 377th ABW and reorganization of the AFNWC under Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) are designed to enhance support to the nuclear mission. The transition will phase in gradually and is scheduled to be complete in fall 2015.

“The nuclear mission is the Air Force’s top priority,” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. “The U.S. Air Force provides the U.S. president and our nation ready and reliable nuclear forces. Maintaining the credibility of our nuclear deterrent requires a long-term, visible commitment to sustainment, and modernization.”

The AFNWC will reorganize into three directorates, two of which focus on the two Air Force legs of the nuclear triad, intercontinental ballistic missile systems and air delivered capabilities. The third directorate will focus on unique nuclear requirements and interagency engagement.

“The Air Force is always seeking to improve the ways we do business through the innovation of our Airmen and the Nuclear Enterprise is no different,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III. “We have identified and are in the process of improving critical mission shortfalls to ensure we remain the most credible, capable and reliable Air Force on the planet.”

The 377th ABW is the host wing for Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, and provides installation support to all mission partners on the base; that role will not change with this realignment under AFGSC.

“We expect the transfer to be imperceptible to the majority of Airmen at Kirtland AFB as they will continue to work for the same supervisors and units,” said Maj. Gen. Garrett Harencak, the Air Force assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration.

Realigning the 377th ABW and reorganizing the weapons center is one step of many the Air Force is taking along with the AFGSC and AFMC Force Improvement Programs. Force Improvement Programs are aggressive grass-roots feedback programs designed to quickly provide senior Air Force leaders with actionable recommendations for improvement.

“As long as nuclear weapons exist, there will be no mission more important than maintaining the nation’s nuclear capability, ensuring strategic deterrence and assurance,” James said. “The Air Force will continue to maintain this strategic capability and guarantee its credibility, as American Airmen have done for more than 60 years.”

(Information courtesy of Air Force Public Affairs Agency Operating Location - P)

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