The United States will reduce the nuclear payload on each of its Minuteman III ICBMs down “to a single warhead” under the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia, says Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This will happen “over the life of the treaty,” he said Tuesday in the Pentagon during a press briefing on the Obama Administration’s newly issued nuclear posture review. Minuteman IIIs can carry up to three warheads. President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are scheduled to sign the treaty Thursday in Prague, Czech Republic. The US Senate and Russian Duma must then ratify it. Once in force, each side has seven years to reduce its arsenal to 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads, 700 deployed launchers, and 800 total launchers, including non-deployed assets. (NPR full document; caution, large file.) (Transcript of NPR press briefing with Cartwright)
The 14th Weather Squadron is taking on a new mission performed by no other unit in the military: predicting what the climate might look like 10 years from now, with calculations that include the effect of greenhouse gasses.