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Air Force opens office to manage nuclear mission

New directorate marks the latest organizational change as service seeks to rebuild nuclear expertise.

The Air Force on Nov. 1 stood up a headquarters office to oversee nuclear issues as the service works to restore confidence following a string of highly publicized mistakes in handling nuclear weapons and material.

The Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration Office, known as A10, "will be instrumental in managing the overall nuclear enterprise and will be directly involved in implementing the Air Force nuclear roadmap as well as preparing to stand up the Air Force Global Strike Command," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said.

Maj. Gen. C. Donald Alston was named assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration and will lead the A10 office. Alston directed the Air Force Nuclear Task Force, the panel charged with identifying root causes of the erosion of nuclear operations within the service and recommending remedies.

The Air Force announced in late October that during the next year it would consolidate nuclear bombers and missiles into a single command, known as Global Strike Command. The service also released its roadmap for revitalizing the nuclear enterprise.

Earlier this year the Air Force began consolidating nuclear sustainment responsibilities at the Nuclear Weapons Center, which is part of Materiel Command.

"The establishment of the [A10 office] sends a clear and visible signal that the Air Force is committed to resolving the fragmented lines of authority across all levels of the nuclear enterprise," the roadmap stated.