DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) --
Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth saw first-hand how Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen are supporting world-wide bomber operations during visits to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, Dyess AFB, and Whiteman AFB, Missouri, April 6 and 7.
Roth offered praise to the Airmen responsible for providing the nation’s nuclear and conventional bomber forces to meet national security objectives and for doing so in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ve been able to maintain our readiness and achieve many of our training and operational goals,” Roth said. “As I have been walking around at these bases, I have been pleased and harkened at how the leadership has been able to make the appropriate adjustments in order to continue to maintain readiness. A classic example was sending B-1s to Norway to support a Bomber Task Force mission earlier this year.
“At the end of the day I think what we are trying to do is give the American people, as well as any potential adversaries, the confidence and impression that we’re ready to go, no matter what,” he continued.
Roth discussed the importance of maintaining a modern force and how it is fundamental in ensuring public trust in the defense capabilities of the U.S. Air Force.
AFGSC is contributing to the next generation of combat capabilities and deterrence through the introduction of the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent, the proposed replacement for the decades-old Minuteman III, and the B-21 Raider, the service’s newest stealth bomber.
“It’s important because what they’re replacing is aging out as we speak,” Roth said about the importance of the new programs. “So it is very critical to manage the development of new systems in a way that as the current fleet ages out, the new capabilities are ready to go.
“The National Defense Strategy is our guide and tells us that we need to look to 2030 and beyond to ensure the nation stays ahead of great power competitors,” he said.
Roth reiterated Airmen remain the Air Force’s greatest asset.
“When all is said and done, we can talk about strategy and other big picture items, but it ultimately all comes down to the people,” Roth said. “Taking care of our people is one of the three priorities that the Secretary of Defense has laid out; at the end of the day it is all about them. Every time I go out and meet our Airmen and Guardians, I come back very pleased and reinforced by the kind of talent, dedication, and patriotism that I see throughout the force.”
The base visits provided Roth with the opportunity to see how Striker Airmen are supporting the global reach and deterrence necessary to remain the world’s leading bomber force.
“We appreciate the opportunity to show Secretary Roth exactly how Strikers support the defense of our nation,” said Col. Mark C. Dmytryszyn, 2nd Bomb Wing commander. “The B-52 remains a premiere long-range strike provider and, alongside the rest of the bomber force, serves as a platform to demonstrate assurances to our allies and partners while deterring those who wish to do us, our allies, and our partners harm. Striker Nation remains ready to compete, to deter, and when directed by our national leadership, to win.”
Whiteman AFB’s commander shared the same level of appreciation for the commitment his Airmen continuously bring to the fight.
“From the beginning, Whiteman AFB has leveraged innovation for our nation’s defense – and our Airmen continue this drive for advancing positive change today,” said Col. Jeffrey T. Schreiner, 509th BW commander. “Every Airman right here in the heartland plays a crucial role providing nuclear deterrence. We truly appreciate the opportunity to give the secretary an introduction to our unique, strategic mission within the nuclear triad and the capabilities our Airmen bring to the fight every day – and we look forward to his vision and direction for the global strike mission in the future.”