MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
General Anthony Cotton, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, and Chief Master Sergeant Melvina Smith, AFGSC command chief, visited here Thursday and Friday. While here, the command team toured the Base, hearing first-hand experiences from Airmen and families about their day-to-day support and impact for the nation’s long-range strike and nuclear strategic deterrence mission.
With two wings on base, each independently supporting the B-52H Stratofortress and Minuteman III ICBM missions at Minot Air Force Base, the installation is the only one in the Department of Defense which hosts two components of the nation’s nuclear triad.
Gen. Cotton and Chief Smith used their visit to discuss the importance of the mission Striker airmen support day in and out, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
“Our strategic vision is composed of four lines of effort and we want to make it so the youngest airman and the oldest officer could understand it and succinctly apply that to their day-to-day support to the Striker mission,” said Gen. Cotton.
Gen. Cotton and Chief Smith lead AFGSC, the United States Air Forces lead proponent for global strike capabilities which support Department of Defense and U.S. Strategic Command objectives. The AFGSC mission includes responsibility for the nation's intercontinental ballistic missile, bomber force, and Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications.
They took time to discuss the command priorities with Airmen and families on base. Some of the topics included creating a foundation of people who take care of each other, ensuring Airmen remain prepared and ready, efforts underway for modernization of the bomber and ICBM fleets, and engaging with communities who support the Global Strike mission.
“Everyone here at Team Minot is collaborating to take care of our families and our military members,” said Chief Smith. “We’ve allowed them to embed themselves within the units and organize events to allow them to come together and get that support they need.”
Gen. Cotton and Chief Smith also took time to converse with airmen and leaders about their experiences in protecting and maintaining the nation’s strategic force of the current generation taking the mantle from them to continue the mission for Global Strike Command, the Air Force and the Nation.
“I want to make absolutely sure that we are taking the steps to develop a 21st century Airman to take care of 21st century issues, utilizing 21st century weapons systems.”, said Gen. Cotton. “To be able to do that is talent management, and quality of life. Air Force Global Strike Command doesn’t just represent the Air Force in long range strike, it represents the entire world.”
Gen. Cotton and Chief Smith said today’s leaders need to think of today’s junior airmen and officers in terms of the leaders the Air Force needs in 2032 and work toward talent management initiatives which build toward that vision.
According to Gen. Cotton and Chief Smith, Minot AFB and the people who support the base remain key to ensuring the nation’s defense requirements, now and into the future. When discussing the importance of the bomber fleet and strategic deterrence for the American people as well as America’s allies and partners, Gen. Cotton stated, “Nobody else has strategic bomber capabilities. Nobody else has land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles. It’s Global Strike Command. It’s incredibly important for our men and women to understand the role we play in the security of this nation and our allies and partners.”