Vitter: Defense Dept. Reaffirms Nuclear Commitment, Great Signal For Elevating Global Strike Command General To Four-Star
(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-La.), a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), said that he is confident that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) will elevate the Global Strike Command leadership to a four-star general position – the highest rank possible. Vitter noted the confidence was based on a statement the DoD issued this weekend declaring the U.S. Nuclear Triad as the highest priority mission. Vitter was also contacted about the Air Force’s plans to realign forces to accommodate the elevation. The Global Strike Command is located at Barksdale Air Force Base and is responsible for the majority of the U.S. Nuclear Triad. Vitter has been pushing for these recognitions despite the Obama administration’s attempts to reduce the priority of nuclear missions.
“This designation is incredibly important both for Barksdale and our national defense. As home of the Global Strike Command, it shows our Defense Department’s long-term commitment to Barksdale and the U.S. Nuclear Triad. The elevation will give Barksdale a seat at the table during key decisions,” Vitter said. “Getting this designation has taken years of work, and I’ll keep working on it until Global Strike Command finally receives this recognition.”
Earlier this year Vitter was able to secure a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 that recognizes the U.S. Nuclear Triad, of which two thirds is managed by Global Strike Command, as the highest mission in our nation’s defense. Congress’ support for this shows its long term commitment to Barksdale Air Force Base, which is home to U.S. Global Strike Command and is responsible for the majority of that Triad. The DoD’s joint statement on the Nuclear Triad mimics Vitter’s legislative language.
In April, Vitter met with General Welsh, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, to push for the elevation to a four star position. Over the past two years, Vitter has been pushing legislation and efforts to raise the profile of the command. Vitter has pushed for this designation with Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the Air Force, and Frank G. Klotz, then Under Secretary of Energy for Nuclear Security, during multiple SASC hearings.