The practice of having large numbers of officers begin their careers as missileers and subsequently move into space operations will not end when Air Force Global Strike Command takes control of 20th Air Force and USAF’s ICBM force, said Gen. Robert Kehler, commander of Air Force Space Command. A number of second lieutenants who begin their careers as missileers will stay in missile-based career fields throughout their careers, Kehler said Sept. 14. This will be done in part to increase the nuclear experience level available to AFGSC. But, he said, a larger number of young officers will move into space missions after serving initial terms in the ICBM fields, just as is done now. The reason is simple: Global Strike Command has no need for the huge numbers of senior captains and majors that eventually emerge from missile backgrounds, so they will be assigned where they are needed—often in space operations.
The Air Force will begin its 71st annual Operation Christmas Drop on Dec. 4. The weeklong exercise is a yearly tradition that delivers supplies such as food, fishing equipment, school books, and clothes to remote islands in the Pacific. It is the longest-running Department of Defense humanitarian mission.