BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE – Air Force Global Strike Command celebrates an anniversary - 10 years since its activation on Aug. 7, 2009.
The command stood up in a ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, as part of ongoing efforts to reinvigorate the Air Force nuclear enterprise. At the time, the move realigned the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile mission and the B-52 and B-2 bomber missions under one command for the first time since Strategic Air Command was deactivated in 1992.
Over the next decade, AFGSC gained the B-1 conventional bomber mission, and the E4-B National Airborne Operations Center mission. It also gained the 377th Air Base Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, which provides support base operations to more than 100 mission partners conducting research, development and testing, readiness and training and munitions maintenance.
However, Gen. Tim Ray, AFGSC commander, said the growing command is not what he is most proud of on this anniversary.
“When I look over the past decade, the accomplishment I am most proud of is not the growth of the command or expansion of our mission,” Ray said. “What I am most proud of is you, our Airmen, working around the clock and around the globe to ensure we are the world’s most respected and feared long-range precision strike team.”
In the 10 years since the command was activated, those Airmen have overseen dozens of Minuteman III ICBM test launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, supported Operation Odyssey Dawn, participated in continuous bomber presence missions in the Pacific theater, executed Bomber Task Force missions in the European theater, and most recently destroyed Syrian-regime chemical weapons facilities in April, 2018.
Additionally, the command recently stood up the United States Air Force Nuclear Command, Control and Communications Center at Barksdale. The NC3 Center is a sub-organization of Air Force Global Strike Command tasked to provide technical and operational support to maintain the health of communication links between the National Military Command Authority and the nuclear warfighters of the U.S. Air Force.
“At the end of the day, the excellence of our Air Force begins and ends with Airmen who find ways to do the impossible every day,” Ray said. “We stand on the shoulders of giants like Arnold, Eaker, LeMay, Schriever, the Tuskegee Airmen, and the Women Airforce Service Pilots. The proud legacy of these Air Force pioneers continues...”
Air Force Global Strike Command is comprised of more than 33,700 Airmen and civilians assigned to two numbered air forces, 11 wings, two geographically-separated squadrons and one detachment in the continental United States, and deployed to locations around the globe. The command overseas all bomber and Intercontinental Ballistic Missile operations for the U.S. Department of Defense. More information can be found at: https://www.afgsc.af.mil/Library/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/454593/air-force-global-strike-command-air-forces-strategic-air/.