Nuclear Directorate Stands Up

Acquisition and care for the Air Force’s nuclear arsenal will now be the responsibility of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center’s newly minted Nuclear Capabilities Directorate at Kirtland AFB, N.M. Officials simultaneously inactivated the 498th Nuclear Systems Wing, while passing its role to the new directorate. “We owe this wing and its people a great debt of gratitude and thanks for what they accomplished in the transformation of the nuclear enterprise,” said Brig. Gen. Garrett Harencak, AFNWC commander, during the Jan. 27 ceremony casing the unit’s colors. Harencak and newly appointed NCD Commander Col. Clarence Johnson proceeded to uncover the directorate’s new insignia. The directorate will directly oversee purchase and sustainment of components related to strategic reentry vehicles, nuclear cruise missiles, free-fall nuclear bombs, and support equipment. This move is part of the broader oversight shift of Air Force units supporting the nuclear mission. (Kirtland report by Marie Vanover)