The U.S. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center is restructuring its directorates to improve focus on providing nuclear capabilities to the warfighter. The center is responsible for synchronizing all aspects of nuclear materiel management on behalf of Air Force Materiel Command, in direct support of Air Force Global Strike Command. It has more than 1,300 personnel assigned to 18 locations worldwide. Headquartered at Kirtland AFB, the center’s former Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Systems Directorate at Hill AFB, Utah, divided into two new directorates: 1) the Minuteman III Systems Directorate and 2) the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) Systems Directorate.
“This restructuring is a natural progression of the Air Force’s increasing focus on the modernization of the ICBM, the third leg of our strategic nuclear triad,” said Maj. Gen. Shaun Morris, AFNWC commander and Air Force program executive officer for strategic systems. “It also allows us to centralize some functional requirements, such as manpower and security, at a central operating at Hill AFB, thus freeing up our subject matter experts to better focus on both sustaining the Minuteman III and acquiring the new GBSD weapon system. Safeguarding our nation and protecting our allies from a nuclear attack will continue to be of upmost importance,” he added.
The new GBSD Systems Directorate will be led by Col. Jason Bartolomei, who is currently the system program manager for GBSD and will remain dual-hatted in that role. “GBSD will ensure uninterrupted deterrence against current and future adversaries through 2075. At the same time, it will provide more efficient operations, maintenance and security by modernizing a critically-aged infrastructure and lowering lifecycle costs. GBSD is the most cost-effective option for maintaining a safe, secure and effective ICBM leg of the nuclear triad. It will exploit existing, affordable technologies”, Bartolomei said.
Over the past six years, the GBSD program has been recognized as one of the Air Force’s most innovative acquisition organizations and a national leader in digital engineering and software engineering. The rest of the center’s organizational structure remains unchanged. The other AFNWC major execution directorates are the Air Delivered Capabilities Directorate, Kirtland AFB; the Nuclear Command, Control and Communications Integration Directorate, Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts; and the Nuclear Technology and Integration Directorate, Kirtland AFB. In addition, there are several functional directorates at Kirtland AFB.