USAF Slates Nuke Summit for September

The Air Force anticipates holding its nuclear summit on or around Sept. 18, the Daily Report has learned. The location is still to be determined, but likely will be in the Washington, D.C., area, according to Air Force spokeswoman Capt. Elizabeth Aptekar. The summit will be an internal meeting of the Air Force’s senior leadership, she said. Paving the way for the summit is the work of the service’s nuclear task force that Acting Secretary Michael Donley announced on June 30. The task force will present Donley, prior to the summit, with a strategic roadmap for rebuilding USAF’s nuclear enterprise. The Air Force’s nuclear mission has come under increased scrutiny after two unauthorized transfers of nuclear materials and components since 2006. Creating the task force gives the Air Force “immediate and sustained access to nuclear expertise” across the service’s major commands and the Air Staff, Aptekar said. Subject matter experts across all nuclear specialties are involved and the service is also reaching out to officials in organizations such as US Strategic Command, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, and National Nuclear Security Administration, for insights to help “build a comprehensive way forward,” she said. The task force members are led daily by three colonels with more than 40 years of combined nuclear experience in the ICBM and bomber communities, she noted.