Air Force announces possible locations for nuclear and cyber organizations

The Air Force on Wednesday announced potential sites for the Global Strike Command, a new organization responsible for overseeing nuclear operations, and for the headquarters of the 24th Air Force, a new unit focused on the cyber mission.

Candidate locations for the Global Strike Command are:

  • Barksdale Air Force Base, La.
  • F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.
  • Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.
  • Minot Air Force Base, N.D.
  • Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
  • Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.
Last month, the service tapped Brig. Gen. James Kowalski to lead a provisional command at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington. Kowalski's responsibilities include determining what resources the new command will need and the best location for it.

The Air Force decided to create the new command this past fall after a series of mishaps involving the handling of nuclear weapons and materiel showed that the service needed to create an organization focused exclusively on nuclear management and operations.

Service leaders will evaluate each of the six bases for their resident nuclear expertise, facilities and infrastructure, support capacity, transportation and access, communications and bandwidth, and security.

Candidate locations for the 24th Air Force headquarters are:

  • Barksdale Air Force Base, La.
  • Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
  • Langley Air Force Base, Va.
  • Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
  • Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.
  • Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
The most important evaluation criteria for the final selection include proximity to other cyber operational missions and access to communications and bandwidth capacity. Other criteria include facilities and infrastructure, support capacity, transportation and access, and security.

While noting that several states have done significant preparatory work in anticipation of receiving the new headquarters, Brig. Gen. Mark Schissler, Air Force Cyber operations director, said in statement, "The mission will ultimately define the final location."

The Air Force expects to make final base selections for both organizations by the end of June.

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