More Nuke and Cyber Nuggets

The Air Force’s new nuclear-focused major command is provisionally named “Global Strike Command,” the Daily Report understands based on service memos now circulating on Capitol Hill and in the Pentagon. It will be led by a yet-to-be-identified three-star general. The command will encompass both the Air Force’s Minuteman III ICBMs as well as its nuclear-capable bombers, meaning the B-2As and B-52Hs. But it will not oversee the conventional-only B-1B bomber fleet. They will remain under Air Combat Command, thereby nixing the idea proposed last month by the Schlesinger nuclear task force to move all Air Force bombers under the same nuclear-centric command. The Air Force is currently working up a phased plan to stand up a provisional command for the nuclear enterprise and then incrementally work towards the more permanent solution. Already Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) has come forward and said Minot Air Force Base in his state would be a “natural fit” for the nuclear command’s headquarters. “[It] is the only air base in the nation that hosts both bombers and missiles with nuclear missions, so it should be at the top of the list of potential homes for this new command,” he said in a release yesterday. Regarding cyber, the new numbered air force that the Air Force intends to establish under Air Force Space Command is notionally designated 24th Air Force. Combining cyber and space makes sense because it puts two interdependent domains under on single command, the Air Force said. The service said it still needs to determine a headquarters for the cyber NAF, too.