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Air Force Recommends Higher Rank for Nuclear Mission Leadership

May 28, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh announced they are recommending increasing the military rank of the leadership in command of America’s nuclear triad, including the 91st Missile Wing and 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base. Congressman Kevin Cramer said elevating the Global Strike Command leadership from a three-star to a four-star general is another good step towards improving our Air Force. Secretary James and General Welsh also announced a series of new incentives to attract and retain Airmen, including scholarships and bonus pay.

“These recommendations from the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff demonstrate the importance of the ICBM force as part of our nation's nuclear deterrence and the overall defense strategy. Increasing the level of leadership and introducing retention incentives for high-caliber Airmen will enhance accountability and morale. The Air Force has my support and I will do my part to make sure their recommendations are implemented,” said Cramer.

Last week Congressman Cramer cosponsored an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which protects U.S. nuclear deterrent capability by striking language which would sunset in 2021 the requirement for the Department of Defense to maintain 450 active Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) silos in a warm status. 150 such silos are located at Minot Air Force Base.

Cramer also cosponsored a second amendment to the NDAA making a statement of policy to operate, sustain, and modernize or replace a triad of nuclear delivery systems consisting of bombers, land based missiles, and submarine based missiles, as well as ensure the airmen and sailors operating the nation’s nuclear deterrent have the training, resources, and national support required to execute their critical national security mission.

The full news release from the U.S. Air Force can be found here.