Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Focus on the Nuclear Enterprise

Maj Mark Dmytryszyn, USAF, also gave us some great highlights on several presentations on nuclear enterprise:

It would be unfair to say that Day 1 of the 2010 Air & Space Conference had a theme, as one could derive many parallel themes when you assemble a bevy of speakers on par with those that the AFA has. But none the less one could argue that today held the focus of those invested in the nuclear enterprise.

Keynote remarks by Secretary Donley included statements about reinforcing the critical nuclear enterprise and a nod to the potential carriage and employment of nuclear weapons board the proposed long-range strike platform. These were just a foreshadowing of events that filled the afternoon – panels and discussions focusing on the continued reinvigoration and strengthening of the nuclear enterprise under the theme of maintaining a credible and reliable nuclear deterrence force.

The afternoon sessions opened with the Nuclear Enterprise panel, a group of distinguished General Officers originally charged with the reinvigoration, now the strengthening, of the nuclear enterprise. Their shared message, regardless of geographic region, method of weapon delivery or position in the force, was that to sustain our nuclear deterrence capability we must have credible and reliable personnel and equipment. Throughout the recap of Global Strike Command's inaugural year, Lt Gen Klotz continued to emphasize the sustainment and modernization efforts being accomplished which ensure the continued credibility and reliability of the Air Force's nuclear force. In a continued escalation of nuclear force management, the day's final nuclear-themed speaker was Gen Chilton, Commander of USSTRATCOM. Gen Chilton stressed that in the challenges to nuclear deterrence that can be influenced by US forces, it is the continued modernization of those forces that will maintain our credibility.

Though all three sessions provided frank and forthright descriptions of the state of both the Air Force's and our country's nuclear deterrence forces, there was a positive conclusion to this threaded theme of maintaining credibility and reliability through sustainment and modernization. The good works of those charged with the invigoration, now strengthening, of the nuclear enterprise are being rewarded by both the President and Congress through provided funding for the exploration of sustainment and life extension to portions of the nuclear stockpile.

In an age where military spending is bound by winning today's fight while preparing for tomorrow's, all while doing so with an eye toward fiscal responsibility, it can be said that the umbrella under which all operations are conducted – that nuclear umbrella – will continue to provide its cover thanks to the sustainment and modernization of the forces that provide a credible and reliable nuclear deterrence.

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