Letter to the Men and Women of 8th AF

Official biography portrait of Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz. Photographed in the Pentagon on Sept. 29, 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by Scott Ash)

Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz

AIR FORCE GLOBAL STRIKE COMMAND -- To the Men and Women of 8th Air Force

On February 1st, the Nation's long-range, nuclear-capable bomber force will transfer to Air Force Global Strike Command. This is an historic milestone in the comprehensive roadmap laid out by the Secretary of the Air Force and our Chief of Staff to strengthen both the capability and the credibility of the Air Force nuclear enterprise. It also reflects the Air Force's firm and unshakable conviction that the most powerful weapons in our Nation's arsenal are a special trust and responsibility--and, one of the Air Force's top priorities. Consolidating the ICBM force and the long-range, nuclear-capable bomber force under a single major command will enhance our ability to uphold the high standards required to operate, maintain, secure and support nuclear deterrence and global strike forces.

Even though the Cold War has ended, the world remains a dangerous and uncertain place. For this reason, the strategic nuclear triad continues to be the foundation of our Nation's deterrent capability. Each of the triad's legs - the ICBMs, the long-range bombers and the submarine-launched ballistic missiles - makes a unique and complementary contribution to our national security. The B-52 and B-2 are critically important components of the strategic nuclear triad because of their great flexibility and versatility. And, just as the various components of the triad provide mutually reinforcing, complementary capabilities, so, too, do the two different bombers, with the B-52 providing unique, unmatched stand-off capabilities and the B-2 providing the capability to attack heavily-defended targets. Our bomber force also brings to the fight awesome and potentially decisive conventional capabilities, as demonstrated in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

For this reason a long-range, nuclear-capable bomber force remains a critical Air Force mission and responsibility. For the women and men of Air Force Global Strike Command that means we have an extraordinarily important mission--to develop and provide combat-ready forces for nuclear deterrence and global strike operations ... safe, secure, credible ... to support the President of the United States and Combatant Commanders. This mission means we have noble and worthy work to perform; work that demands the utmost in professionalism, discipline, excellence, pride, and esprit.
Everyone in 8th Air Force should know that the entire senior leadership of the Air Force is extremely proud of each and every one of you, and of what you do every day. With every sortie, shift, guardmount and support activity, you demonstrate that you truly are among the best and brightest who have ever served in the Air Force.

As a member of the Air Force's newest major command, you are a valued member of an elite and highly-disciplined team--a team that values individual responsibility for success; uncompromising adherence to standards; superior technical and weapon system expertise; pride in our nuclear heritage and mission; and safety in all things, big and small. Our Nation's senior leaders and our fellow citizens are counting on you to do things the right way, every day.

Our ultimate success in this important work depends upon you, the people of Air Force Global Strike Command. As your Commander, I promise to do all within my power to get the guidance, manpower, and resources required to do your job; and, to ensure your and your families' well-being. It's my honor and privilege to serve alongside you as, together, we build a model command!