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No higher calling
Gen. Kevin P. Chilton speaks Nov. 30, 2010, at Minot Air Force Base, N.D. General Chilton's visit highlighted the nuclear deterrence role of Minot AFB Airmen in the Air Force Global Strike Command mission. General Chilton is the U.S. Strategic Command commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Michael J. Veloz)
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STRATCOM commander: 'No higher calling' than nuclear mission

Posted 12/3/2010   Updated 12/3/2010 Email story   Print story


by Megan Meyer
Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs

12/3/2010 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- The commander of U.S. Strategic Command visited all five Air Force Global Strike Command bases Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, telling Airmen "there is no higher calling" than the nuclear deterrence mission.

Speaking to hundreds of Airmen at commander's calls at each stop, Gen. Kevin P. Chilton emphasized how Global Strike Airmen support the larger STRATCOM mission. Global Strike Command's main role is to provide operationally capable forces to STRATCOM in the combatant command structure.

"This mission demands performance and perfection every day that, as a team, we must achieve," General Chilton said. It may sometimes be difficult "to juggle so many balls and not drop them," he said, stressing that the nuclear deterrence mission "is made of crystal, and we cannot drop that ball because the consequences would be felt worldwide."

General Chilton was accompanied at each base by Air Force Global Strike Command commander Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz. They traveled Nov. 30 to Minot Air Force Base, N.D.; Malmstrom AFB, Mont.; and F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo. They wrapped up Dec. 1 with Whiteman AFB, Mo., and here.

"Each and every one of you, no matter what job you hold, is a part of the team," General Chilton said. "There is no higher calling in this uniform than the duty you perform."

The general said nuclear weapons are necessary, and he believes they will be "absolutely essential for many years to come."

General Chilton said he also believes nuclear deterrence has helped to prevent worldwide conventional war since 1945, saying "the long shadow of deterrence capability is still here.

"That is the power of the nuclear deterrent -- it absolutely underpins conventional might," the general said.

Quoting former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Nathan F. Twining, General Klotz said "forces that cannot win will not deter."

He said Global Strike Command Airmen have proven that they are warriors and winners.

"I want to thank each and every one of you for what you have done to create this new major command, a command solely focused on the nuclear deterrence and global strike mission," General Klotz said. "I am personally very proud of each and every one of you."

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