In 1992, Offutt Air Base faced monumental changes when the easing of world tensions allowed the United States to reorganize its Air Force. After 46 years, SAC was deactivated on June 1, 1992, and a new, unified command, STRATCOM was activated. The beginning of STRATCOM coincided with the change from a world with two super-powers facing each other to a world with one super-power and many other powerful nations and coalitions of power.
Under the the terms of recent arms reduction treaties,
B-52s have been dismantled
at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona.
STRATCOM controls the U.S. nuclear arsenal in case of another war. Offutt's 55th Air Wing flies reconnaissance missions throughout the world. The 55th remains the largest wing in the U.S. Air Combat Command. STRATCOM has the responsibility for weapons on nuclear alert, including land- and sea-based ballistic missiles, long range bombers, and air-refueling tankers, controlling all of the nuclear weapons that are at the disposal of the U.S. Air Force and Navy around the world.
When STRATCOM began, the Looking Glass flights became a joint Air Force and Navy operation. Personnel from both services provide round-the-clock, survivable, alternate command of strategic forces during national emergencies.
In fact, all of STRATCOM is now a joint operation with personnel from all four services — Air Force, Navy, Army, and Marines. Yet, for all the changes, the mission remains the same — to deter a military attack on the United States and its allies, and should deterrence fail, employ forces so as to achieve national objectives. Other responsibilities include:
- providing intelligence on countries and other entities possessing or seeking weapons of mass destruction
- providing support to other combatant command commanders
- developing a Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) that fully satisfies national guidance
- monitoring the readiness of SIOP committed forces
- commanding, controlling, and employing assigned forces.