Opinion: Job One for LRS-B

The Air Force continues to display ambivalence toward its role and responsibility in the nuclear deterrent aspects of national security strategy, writes John Michael Loh, retired Air Force general, in an opinion piece for Air Force Magazine. Consecutive Nuclear Posture Reviews have validated the triad of nuclear bombers, ICBMs, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles as the fundamental, overarching security strategy for the nation, writes Loh, a former Air Force vice chief of staff. As recently as May, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress the nuclear triad is the basis for the nation’s defense strategy, notes Loh. Yet, he asserts, the Air Force continues to turn a blind eye toward the nuclear mission for the Long-Range Strike Bomber, the service’s future bomber, which is projected to be operational in the mid 2020s. The LRS-B must become the backbone of the bomber leg of the triad, argues Loh. Air Force leaders should restore the nuclear deterrence ethos throughout the Air Force, champion the nuclear-capable bomber’s unique contribution to the triad, and reorder its priorities by advocating the nuclear deterrent mission as Job One for LRS-B, he writes. Click here to read Loh’s complete opinion piece.