Our national security depends not only on our military’s fighting strength but also on our ability to deter hostile powers. The U.S. Strategic Command’s deterrence mission is vital — preventing foreign powers from resorting to nuclear weapons, the world’s deadliest devices.
That mission, under the Strategic Air Command, kept the Soviet Union’s nuclear forces at bay during the Cold War. Since 1992, StratCom has carried on the duty, maintaining a high standard of operation.
On Monday, StratCom christened its new, 914,000-square-foot headquarters, naming it for Gen. Curtis LeMay, who brought SAC to Offutt Air Force Base in 1948 and went on to lead the command’s nuclear mission for nine years. The $1.3 billion facility has exceptionally efficient and capable technologies to ensure high mission performance. StratCom oversees a complex set of monitoring and operational duties on a global scale, including ensuring the daily readiness of the command and control system.
Gen. John Hyten, who proved a capable StratCom commander, was recently confirmed as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. On Monday, Vice Adm. Charles Richard, who had served as deputy commander under Hyten, took the StratCom helm after receiving unanimous approval from the U.S. Senate.
Hyten told The World-Herald’s Steve Liewer recently that while modernization of U.S. nuclear capability is important, so is arms control. Such limits, when responsibly negotiated, can be stabilizing and in mutual interest of the participating countries, he said.
Arms control talks, if successful, raise the possibility of reducing the costs of U.S. nuclear modernization. Such negotiations, Hyten said, should include not only Russia but also China, which is investing considerable sums in boosting its military.
With the ceremony Monday, StratCom leaders and personnel marked an important occasion in the command’s history and development. Our nation benefits greatly from their professionalism and dedication.