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Exercises - US Strategic Command


U.S. Strategic Command Realistic exercises are essential for sustainment of DoD Components' ability to accomplish nuclear operational missions. Stressing, realistic exercises are the best ways in which to demonstrate and revalidate operational capability. US Strategic Command, which is responsible for the preponderance of US nuclear forces, has a vigorous nuclear exercise program. Regional Unified Combatant Commands with nuclear responsibilities also have exercise programs which are accomplished both independently and in coordination with US Strategic Command.

US Strategic Command participates in exercises involving consideration of, or planning for, strategic strike options, or in which US Strategic Command elements are needed to support these activities. Such exercises can serve as building blocks for follow-on US Strategic Command-sponsored exercises and/or as evaluation tools. Examples of such exercises with US Strategic Command participation include POSITIVE FORCE, POSITIVE RESPONSE, and senior Service School strategic exercises.

The military departments and services also have exercise programs. The US Army's Nuclear and Chemical Agency (USANCA) augments the staffs of Land Component Commanders (LCC) in all exercises involving nuclear employment. These Nuclear Employment Augmentation Teams (NEAT) plan nuclear weapon employment for the LCC during the exercise. In time of hostilities, NEAT teams serve with the LCC staffs. USSTRATCOM performs similar functions for CINC staffs.

Twice a year, Navy selects an attack submarine and conducts a regeneration exercise that demonstrates and appraises the capability to redeploy nuclear-armed cruise missiles on such submarines. This exercise tests the ability of the submarine and crew to re-establish nuclear weapons capability in a relatively short time.

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