Protecting the Nuclear Enterprise

Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces panel, said the panel continues to closely monitor the Air Force to ensure that the nuclear enterprise remains one of the service’s top priorities. “The Air Force put together a very thoughtful approach to deal with [issues within its nuclear enterprise], but I do think that the fact that they arose showed a lack of top-level leadership focus on what is a very important function,” he told reporters Tuesday in Washington, D.C. He added, “The Air Force has come to grips with that. They’ve stepped forward and said that they want to raise it in importance and our subcommittee is certainly going to hold them to that.” After instituting significant changes several years ago to revitalize its nuclear enterprise and improve oversight, the Air Force continues to make adjustments, when warranted, to strengthen it. Late last year, for example, oversight of the service’s nuclear munitions squadrons transferred from Air Force Material Command to Air Force Global Strike Command. At the time, Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said such moves help ensure “safe, secure, and effective operations.”