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AFGSC expands with addition of three wings, LRS-B program

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgts. William Long, left, and Carl Mendoza, both members of the 7th Bomb Wing Honor Guard, wait to replace the 12th Air Force flag at the Air Force Global Strike Command transition ceremony Sept. 28, 2015, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The transition to Global Strike Command, a command that provides secure and effective global strike operations, from Air Combat Command, which is primarily focused on direct combat and intelligence, is meant to create opportunities in training, tactics development, doctrine development, aircraft modernization, and acquisition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quay Drawdy/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgts. William Long, left, and Carl Mendoza, both members of the 7th Bomb Wing Honor Guard, wait to replace the 12th Air Force flag at the Air Force Global Strike Command transition ceremony Sept. 28, 2015, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The transition to Global Strike Command, a command that provides secure and effective global strike operations, from Air Combat Command, which is primarily focused on direct combat and intelligence, is meant to create opportunities in training, tactics development, doctrine development, aircraft modernization, and acquisition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quay Drawdy/Released)

Maj. Gen. Scott Jansson, speaks to an audience after taking command of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center during a change of command ceremony Oct. 1 at Hardin Field. (Photo by Dennis Carlson)

Maj. Gen. Scott Jansson, speaks to an audience after taking command of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center during a change of command ceremony Oct. 1 at Hardin Field. (Photo by Dennis Carlson)

Maj. Gen. Jack Weinstein, 20th Air Force commander, speaks to an audience at the Oct. 1 wing transfer ceremony at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. The 377th Air Base Wing was transferred from Air Force Materiel Command to Air Force Global Strike Command. (U.S. Air Force photo Dennis Carlson/Released)

Maj. Gen. Jack Weinstein, 20th Air Force commander, speaks to an audience at the Oct. 1 wing transfer ceremony at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. The 377th Air Base Wing was transferred from Air Force Materiel Command to Air Force Global Strike Command. (U.S. Air Force photo Dennis Carlson/Released)

Maj. Gen. Richard Clark, Eighth Air Force commander, addresses Ellsworth Airmen during the B-1 realignment ceremony at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 28, 2015. Ellsworth is one of two bases that ceremonially realigned to Air Force Global Strike Command’s Eighth Air Force today, uniting all Air Force bombers under a single command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebecca Imwalle/Released)

Maj. Gen. Richard Clark, Eighth Air Force commander, addresses Ellsworth Airmen during the B-1 realignment ceremony at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 28, 2015. Ellsworth is one of two bases that ceremonially realigned to Air Force Global Strike Command’s Eighth Air Force today, uniting all Air Force bombers under a single command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebecca Imwalle/Released)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- Air Force Global Strike Command grew in size and capability today as the 7th Bomb Wing, 28th Bomb Wing, 377th Air Base Wing and Long-Range Strike Bomber Program transferred under the command.

Transfer ceremonies Sept. 28 marked the transition of the 7th BW at Dyess AFB, Texas, and 28th BW at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, from Air Combat Command to AFGSC. A ceremony today transferred the 377th ABW at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, from Air Force Material Command.

The transitions follow reviews of the nuclear enterprise, which identified the movements as a way of improving efficiencies and support for the nuclear community.

"This is a historic time for Air Force Global Strike Command as we add some amazing capabilities," said Gen. Robin Rand, AFGSC commander. "I want to welcome the Dyess, Ellsworth and Kirtland Airmen to our family, and I look forward to the great things we will accomplish together."

With the addition of the 7th and 28th Bomb Wings, the B-1B Lancer, a weapon system providing long-range, conventional bomber capabilities, joins the B-2 Spirit and B-52 Stratofortress force, bringing all three of the Air Force's bombers under one command. The bombers will align under 8th Air Force, led by Maj. Gen. Richard Clark, 8th AF commander.

"All five bomb wings and the long-range strike capability they provide to our nation are stronger today as a result of this homecoming," Clark said.

Sixty-three aircraft and more than 7,000 personnel transfer from Air Combat Command under the realignment. The move streamlines the Air Force's core mission of global strike under a unified command responsible for organizing, training and equipping Airmen to perform the nuclear and conventional bomber mission.

"Whether it is in the B-1, B-2, or B-52, it is a great time to be a bomber Airman," Clark said. "We are standing on the shoulders of giants and have great days ahead."

The move aims to create synergy within the bomber community, promoting crosstalk between all three bomber platform maintainers and aircrew streamlining the global strike and strategic deterrence missions through the sharing of expertise and increased coordination.

The realignment of the 377th ABW is part of a move designed to enhance operational and maintenance support to the nuclear mission. Kirtland AFB is the host installation to multiple organizations providing vital expertise within the nuclear enterprise, to include the Department of Energy, Sandia National Laboratories, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, the Space and Missile Systems Center, the Air Force Inspection Agency and the Air Force Safety Center.

More than 1,700 military and civilian members will transfer as part of the 377th realignment, which places it under 20th Air Force, led by Maj. Gen. Jack Weinstein.

"The U.S. Air Force is always seeking to improve the way we do business," Weinstein said. "The transfer of the 377 Air Base Wing highlights the continued improvements the Air Force is making in the nuclear enterprise to ensure we remain the most credible, capable and reliable force for our Nation."

The 377th serves a supporting role to Kirtland AFB, which is a center for research, development and testing of non-conventional weapons, space and missile technology and laser warfare. That role will not change with the realignment.

"The stewardship of Kirtland AFB under Air Force Material Command was second to none," Weinstein said. "We are proud to welcome the 377th to 20th AF, and we will strive to continue their superb legacy and warfighter support to our Air Force."

The realignments are largely administrative in nature and should have little to no impact on personnel, family members or local communities.

The transitions follow the recent elevation of the commander of AFGSC from a three-star to a four-star general officer position. Rand assumed command on July 28.

"We are charged with deterrence and assurance--such important capabilities we provide both for our country and our allies--and our Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen are so good at fulfilling that responsibility," Rand said. "The mighty Airmen joining our team have a proven history of dedicated performance. The unique support mission of the 377th, and the swift and decisive strike capability of the 7th and 28th will bring our proud organization to new heights as a better equipped, better trained and indefinably capable global strike force."