New Plan Outlines Air Force’s Nuclear Future

The Air Force released a flight plan detailing how the service intends to advance and monitor the overall health of its nuclear enterprise, supporting infrastructure, and processes. Signed by Acting Air Force Secretary Eric Fanning, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, and approved by the four-star-level Nuclear Oversight Board, the plan has three main sections, according to the Aug. 23 release announcing it. The first articulates the Air Force perspective on 21st century deterrence and assurance. The second outlines five strategic vectors for the nuclear enterprise. The third explains how the NOB and the Nuclear Issues Resolution and Integration Board will oversee efforts to meet the objectives highlighted in the plan. “All airmen should understand the basics of the deterrence mission and its importance to our Air Force and the nation,” said Maj. Gen. Garrett Harencak, assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration. “We encourage commanders and airmen at all levels to use the flight plan as a starting point for discussion and debate about deterrence in the changing 21st century environment, and the Air Force role in meeting those challenges,” said Harencak. (Nuclear flight plan, full document; caution, large-sized file.)