Corona Kicks Off Today

The Air Force’s leadership, along with the service’s senior commanders, gathered today at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs for three days of discussion and decision-making. These tri-annual Corona summits are designed to cover the breadth of issues facing the service. That said, one of the main topics driving the agenda at this meeting will be the Air Force’s nuclear enterprise and the organizational changes deemed necessary to restore confidence in the service’s nuclear stewardship and reinvigorate the nuclear career path and mission. Going into the meeting, the service has developed a nuclear roadmap. At Corona, service officials have indicated that the leadership will decide upon the implementation plan for the changes articulated in the roadmap. One option under consideration is the creation of a new major command akin to the Strategic Air Command of Cold War days that would oversee the service’s ICBM force and its B-2A and B-52H nuclear-capable bombers. The task force headed by James Schlesinger, former CIA, DOD, and DOE czar, recommended last month that the Air Force move all of its bombers—including the conventional-only B-1Bs—under Air Force Space Command, which already overseas the nation’s Minuteman III ICBMs. AFSPC should then be redesignated Air Force Strategic Command and aligned with the missions of US Strategic Command, Schlesinger said.