Just Be Curt

Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh told Gen. Robin Rand, the first four-star to lead Global Strike Command, to “go become the next Curtis LeMay,” Welsh said April 2. Speaking at an AFA-sponsored, Air Force breakfast, Welsh said he wants Rand to “bring this nuclear mission … back to the front page of Air Force attention every single day,” and be USAF’s point man in a broader top governmental nuclear debate in which Welsh sees the Air Force playing a much larger role than it has for the last 17 years. Welsh acknowledged the puzzlement by some over Rand’s appointment, given that Rand’s career has been almost exclusively in fighters and most recently at Air Education and Training Command. However, “the most important” attribute for the job, Welsh said, is “leadership” and Rand brings “a leadership style and an inspirational charisma with him that is truly going to be important as we grow” the command. Welsh said Rand “understands the business, and he’ll learn the details just fine,” but it will “take some time” to get AFGSC all the resources it needs to be successful. Rand will be surrounded by experts and is “the right guy to get us going,” and build on the “fantastic job” done by Lt. Gen. Steven Wilson. USAF is “not anywhere where we need to be” on revitalizing the nuclear enterprise, but “we’ll just keep grinding on this one.”