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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)




A New Era: From SAC To STRATCOM

A New Era: From SAC To STRATCOM

 

CSC 1995

 

SUBJECT AREA - Aviation

 

 

 

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

Title: A New Era: From SAC to STRATCOM

 

Author: Major Jon M. Fontenot, United States Air Force

 

Thesis: With the end of the cold war, is there a need for the United States Strategic

Command?

 

Background: The Strategic Air Command (SAC) was created on March 21, 1946

and assigned the mission of deterring aggression through "long range offensive

operations in any part of the world" and "maximum range reconnaissance over land

or sea". During the first year, SAC's personnel loss was 63 percent and aircraft loss

was 78 percent; the losses were due to the demobilization after World War II. But

during the next two years, SAC's personnel and aircraft gains helped establish the

command. When General Curtis E. LeMay became SAC's third commander, the

morale in the command was low. But General LeMay would change the attitude in

the command and make the command one of the elite places to work. During his

tenure (almost nine years), General LeMay instituted a strenuous training program to

make all units combat ready. SAC was very good at its job, but unexpectedly the

threat was over--the Warsaw Pact was gone, the Berlin Wall fell, and the Soviet

Union dissolved into independent states. General Butler was the chief architect with

dissolving SAC and the start-up of the United States Strategic Command

(STRATCOM). He worked very closely with General Colin Powell, Chairman of the

Joint Chiefs of Staff, on the roles and missions and structure of STRATCOM. The

only question was when would the change take place. STRATCOM took over the

same mission of SAC, but with one twist. STRATCOM has authority over all

nuclear weapons. The future for STRATCOM depends on two items: the Nuclear

Posture Review and the restructure of the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP).

The Nuclear Posture Review is a comprehensive look at the nations nuclear weapons

and how the nation employs them. While SIOP is the means to employ the weapons,

the planning takes 18 months. STRATCOM knew this was too long and developed a

plan to reduce the time from 18 to 6 months (adaptive force planning).

 

Recommendation: STRATCOM is still needed to deter other nations from using or

procuring nuclear weapons, but DoD must continue reviewing our the nation's need

for STRATCOM and nuclear weapons.

 

OUTLINE

 

Thesis: With the end of the cold war, is there a need for the United States Strategic

Command?

 

 

I. History of the Strategic Air Command

A. Origin

B. Weapon Systems

C. Role in World Conflicts

 

II. SAC to United States Strategic Command

A. Changing World Climate

B. Origin

C. Mission

D. Centralized Command Structure

 

III. United States Strategic Command's Future

A. Nuclear Posture Review

B. Re-engineering the Nuclear War Plan

 

 

A NEW ERA: FROM SAC TO STRATCOM

 

 

Introduction

 

From 1946 to 1992, our Nation depended on the Strategic Air Command

 

(SAC) to conduct long-range nuclear attacks on the former Soviet Union, if ordered.

 

The world had to live with the threat of a nuclear holocaust like a dark cloud,

 

threatening the extinction of all mankind. SAC was the command held responsible

 

for keeping that cloudburst from exploding. But with the end of the Cold War,

 

SAC's nuclear deterrence mission was still needed, though less urgent. During this

 

time, all the services were reviewing their role and missions and going through a very

 

difficult personnel drawdown. So a dramatic change took place June 1, 1992, with

 

the restructuring of the Strategic Air Command to the United States Strategic

 

Command (STRATCOM). Placing our nuclear forces under one commander makes

 

sense. Not only do you have one voice on all strategic nuclear planning and

 

weapons, but you improve efficiency and delete duplication.1 The improved

 

efficiency is in planning and execution in case of a nuclear war and consolidating

 

requirements for nuclear policy. In examining why STRATCOM is needed and its

 

future, one must first look at SAC's history.

 

SAC's History

 

The Strategic Air Command traces its origins back to World War II. The

 

bombers and fighters of the Eight Air Force and Fifteenth Air Force in Europe and

 

the Twentieth Air Force in the Pacific were part of the overall strategic air arm

 

helping defeat Germany and Japan, but the most important bomber missions were the

 

atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. H. H. (Hap) Arnold, the Air Force's

 

first Chief of Staff, declared: "The influence of atomic energy on air power can be

 

stated very simply. It has made air power all-important." After the war in an effort

 

to keep strategic bomber superiority, USAAF created SAC.2

 

SAC was created along with two other major air commands: the Air Defense

 

Command and the Tactical Air Command on March 21, 1946. SAC's original

 

mission statement was given by General Carl Spaatz:

 

The Strategic Air Command will be prepared to conduct long range offensive

operations in any part of the world either independently or in cooperations

with land and naval forces: ...to provide combat units capable of intense and

sustained combat operations employing the latest and most advanced

weapons...[and] to train units and personnel for the maintenance of the

strategic forces in all parts of the world.3

 

Primarily, SAC was the nation's long range strike force, deterring nuclear war

 

through strict readiness and supporting other operations by maintaining heavy

 

bombers for conventional bombing.4 General George C. Kenney was the first

 

commander and given the order to assemble SAC with 100,000 personnel and 1,300

 

aircraft, which included B-29 bombers, nine heavy bomb groups, two fighter groups,

 

one reconnaissance wing and one air transport unit. There were 18 active bases in

 

the continental U.S.5 SAC's headquarters at this time was at Andrews Air Force

 

Base (AFB), Maryland.

 

1948 was a significant year for the new command. Their headquarters moved

 

to Offutt AFB, Nebraska and the new commander was General Curtis E. LeMay who

 

served the longest of any U.S. military force commander (19 October 1948 to 30 June

 

1957). During his SAC tenure, personnel grew from over 49,000 to over 224,000;

 

SAC bases went from 21 CONUS to 38 CONUS and 30 overseas; and SAC started to

 

receive an increasingly larger portion of the defense budget. With the introduction of

 

KC-135 tankers, who provided in-flight refueling, bombers could strike anywhere in

 

the world. Gen. LeMay was instrumental in procuring the B-47 and B-52 force

 

which were sustained by KC-97 and KC-135 tankers.6

 

SAC's third commander was General Thomas S. Power and was responsible

 

for initiating bomber ground alert. The ground alert concept was to maintain

 

approximately one-third of its aircraft on the ground, weapons loaded, and crews

 

prepared for immediate takeoff.7 The alert concept was a result of world conditions

 

at the time. The Soviet Union's move towards advanced technology and tense

 

relations with Stalin made immediate retaliatory strike force a necessity.

 

Under Power's command, SAC adopted the slogan "Peace Is Our

 

Profession".8 This slogan can be viewed as a result of SAC's underlying position:

 

nuclear war was considered a final act. By maintaining alert crews and planes loaded

 

with weapons, the U.S. was dispatching a message to the Soviet Union and other

 

hostile countries.

 

SAC wanted their presence felt all over the world. SAC reached its personnel

 

zenith of over 282,000 and operations and maintenance budget of over $750 million.9

 

During the 1950s, SAC received 47 percent of the U.S. military budget. Jerry

 

Miller, Vice Admiral (retired), stated, "Back in those days, it was SAC against the

 

Navy and the Tactical Air Command. SAC had all the money. The best thing you

 

could do was get assigned to a SAC base. They had everything."10 The reasons

 

were simple: (1) SAC was the nations deterrent against the Soviet aggression, (2)

 

SAC had two-thirds of the nuclear triad (B-52 bombers and ICBMs), and (3) SAC had

 

the only strategic war planning system to build the Single Integrated Operational Plan

 

(SIOP).

 

From 1964 to 1973, SAC's B-52s, KC-135s, and reconnaissance aircraft flew

 

thousands of bombing, air refueling, and reconnaissance missions in Southeast Asia.

 

SAC forces helped defeat the 1968 North Vietnamese siege of Khe Sanh and blunted

 

the enemy's 1972 spring offensive. With the Linebacker II campaign in December

 

1972, SAC played a key role in forcing North Vietnam back to the peace tables.

 

Although the bomber's mission was tactical at first, by June 1966, B-52s were

 

dropping 8,000 tons monthly and becoming a strong strategic force in the war against

 

the Viet Cong.11

 

SAC's B-52s conventional capability was used instead of their primary mission

 

of nuclear bombing during the Gulf War. During Desert Storm, one B-52 could

 

deliver fifty 750-pound bombs of high explosives that shattered buildings and strategic

 

targets. Ensuring the bombers could reach their targets, the KC-10 and KC-135

 

provided the aerial refueling support while stationed throughout Saudi Arabia and

 

bordering countries, as the "gas station in the air" for coalition aircraft.12 The

 

KC-135 also was used to move high priority cargo from CONUS to the Kuwaiti

 

Theater of Operations. Also, SAC's U-2, TR-1 and RC-135 aircraft helped Gen.

 

Schwarzkopf see and shape the battlefield. This shift from nuclear to conventional

 

use of bombers is not new. With the emergence of third-world countries and their

 

fight for independence, our defense policy makers and military leaders see world

 

powers shifting from a less likely global nuclear war to a regional, conventional

 

conflict.13 Our forces and warfighting capabilities must reflect current conditions.

 

Again the role of SAC's aircraft during any conflict proved critical: Their aircraft

 

provided the strategic bombing, while the tankers provided the aerial refueling support

 

for strategic and tactical aircraft. If SAC was so successful at its missions, why was

 

the Strategic Air Command disestablished and a new command called United States

 

Strategic Command created? The answer lies in the changing world climates and the

 

role of the super powers.

 

 

SAC to STRATCOM

 

The world political environment during the Cold War was fairly stable.

 

SAC's operational planning capability was tailored for the Cold War. But, with the

 

U.S.S.R. dissolving into independent states and nuclear arms reduction pacts signed,

 

SAC's purpose was no longer essential. Even General Butler, Commander-in-Chief

 

of SAC, had questions how long SAC could endure.14 When the Conventional

 

Forces in Europe agreement was signed, this was a signal to the end of the Cold War

 

and SAC; however, when President Bush ordered bombers, tankers, and missiles off

 

alert in September 1991--SAC was history.15 No longer would B-52s and KC-135s

 

sit on alert year in and year out; no longer would the EC-135 "Looking Glass"

 

continue 24 hour airborne alert; no longer would the intercontinental ballistic missiles

 

be targeted at the U.S.S.R. After 46 years of protecting the nation from U.S.S.R.

 

aggression, SAC was out and a new strategic command was needed. Deterrence is

 

not an Air Force mission, General McPeak, Air Force Chief of Staff stated. "For the

 

nation, deterrence is a joint mission, requiring a joint command."16

 

Placing the nation's nuclear war planning under one command, as

 

STRATCOM, was not new. General Curtis LeMay proposed the same idea in 1959,

 

but Gen. LeMay ran into opposition from the United States Navy. The Navy could

 

not envision a USAF command controlling their nuclear missile carrying submarines.

 

The dispute goes back to the USAF B-36 versus the USN super carrier

 

agreements.17 Instead of having our nuclear weapons under one authority, the

 

Department of Defense (DoD) settled for a compromise--the Joint Strategic Targeting

 

Planning Staff (JSTPS). JSTPS was formed in 1960 and directed by the Joint Chiefs

 

of Staff. The Commander-in-Chief of SAC was designated the JSTPS director with a

 

Navy Vice Admiral for vice-director. The JSTPS was a very large planning team of

 

Air Force, Navy and Army personnel. SAC and the Navy got along well and there

 

were enough of the triad of nuclear weapons to go around.18 This was going to

 

change due to the end of the Cold War and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties

 

(START).

 

START I was a success story having been initially proposed in 1982 and

 

signed in 1991, but the more significant START II almost did not occur. After

 

signing START I in late 1991, the Soviet Union separated into the Commonwealth of

 

Independent States (CIS). Four of the CIS (Russia, Belarus, Kazkhstan, and Ukraine)

 

controlled the former U.S.S.R.'s nuclear weapons. START I calls for the United

 

States and the four CIS to reduce strategic missile warheads by 25 percent and

 

ballistic missile warheads by 40 percent and 48 percent respectively.19 With both

 

sides making progress under START I, START II is the more significant treaty to

 

complete the nuclear arms reductions.

 

START II was signed by President Bush and President Yeltsin in Moscow on

 

January 3, 1993 and made dramatic changes in both nation's ballistic missile

 

program. Multiple warheads are banned and strict limits on the number of warheads

 

at sea were placed. Once the treaty is ratified by each nation, by 2003 the U.S. will

 

have cut its nuclear warheads to 3,500 and the CIS to 3,000. A significant change

 

from the Cold War period where over 75,000 tactical and strategic warheads were

 

aimed at each other.20

 

It is no overstatement to say General Butler, the last CINCSAC and the first

 

CINCSTRAT, started the process to disestablish SAC and create USSTRATCOM.

 

While General Butler was Vice-Director of Strategic Plans and Policy, J-5, of the

 

Joint staff (later director), he undertook secret negotiations with the Soviets directed

 

by Admiral Crowe, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), in August 1988.

 

Gen. Butler made several trips to the Soviet Union and saw the decay in the cities,

 

current living conditions, and deteriorating military infrastructure. From his

 

prospective, the Soviet Union was in a state of collapse. After long negotiations the

 

U.S. and Soviets agreed in June 1989 to end the Cold War.21

 

General Powell was now the new CJCS and Gen. Butler recognized that the

 

Chairmen and his Joint Planners needed to be on the same course. Gen. Butler laid it

 

out straight:

 

General [Powell], I think the Cold War is over. We are about to see a

sweeping transformation of the international security environment. That

is...for you to take the United States Armed Forces down an entirely new

path,.. [involving] sharp reductions, a revision of roles and missions...22

 

General Powell's reply was, "I wholeheartedly agree and let me lay out for

 

you some of the details."23 General Butler went through a four step process: (1)

 

paradigm changes on plug and programming against the former Soviet Union, (2)

 

new "base force" concept, (3) total rewrite of NATO strategy and force structure, and

 

(4) revision of the National Military Strategy.24 General Butler was responsible for

 

Minuteman II force deactivation, B-52G retirement to the bone yard, taking 75

 

percent of tankers out of inventory and the accompanying draw down of SAC

 

personnel.

 

Gen. Butler took command of SAC on January 25, 1991 and probably knew he

 

was the last CINCSAC, but was unsure of the timetable for forming STRATCOM.

 

The transformation did develop sooner than most anticipated. During this time period

 

with the Cold War over, budget constraints, the CJCS setting the stage for

 

STRATCOM as early as the summer of 1992, and the survival of SAC's aerial assets

 

to the budget, General Butler came to the same conclusion--time to deactivate

 

SAC.25

 

When I added one, two, three and four I got zero; time to deactivate SAC.

Step aside, let the Air Force reorganize and create the conditions for a

transition to STRATCOM without having to worry about where SAC might

fit.26

 

On June 1, 1992, three ceremonies occurred: the stand up of Air Combat

 

Command (ACC), Air Mobility Command (AMC), and the United States Strategic

 

Command and the stand down of Tactical Air Command, Military Airlift Command,

 

and Strategic Air Command. ACC and AMC are USAF major commands while

 

STRATCOM is a unified command.27 STRATCOM, located at Offutt AFB in

 

Nebraska, is the only unified command having a unique combatant command

 

authority. It has sole authority over nuclear forces: missiles and submarines,

 

bombers, tankers, and airborne command posts.28

 

 

STRATCOM's Mission

 

STRATCOM's mission is to deter a major military attack on the United States

 

and its allies, and should deterrence fall, employ strategic forces. Their command

 

goals are to: (a) establish USSTRATCOM as the leading authority on strategic

 

matters, (b)develop capabilities and posture forces to meet strategic objectives, (c)

 

develop force employment plans and STRATCOM's role in defense planning and

 

system, (d) effectively employ assigned forces in strategic operations, and

 

maintain strong, cooperative relationships with other CINC's services and

 

agencies.29

 

As directed by the National Command Authority, STRATCOM performs a

 

wide variety of missions from posturing bombers, missiles and submarines to deter

 

attack, to preparing the nation's nuclear war plan (the Single Integrated Operational

 

Plan). STRATCOM conducts world-wide strategic reconnaissance, and maintains

 

state-of-the-art command, control, and communications and intelligence support

 

networks linking forces, which are ready to respond 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

 

STRATCOM is the key link between national strategy and nuclear forces.

 

Creating this command improved the

 

Defense Department's ability to deal

 

with complex strategic nuclear

 

weapon issues of the future. Placing

 

all strategic forces under one

 

command has improved efficiency

 

and eliminated duplication.

 

CINCSTRAT is responsible for

 

integrating strategic nuclear policy, requirements planning, and operations across

 

service lines. Whether in peace, war, or crisis, STRATCOM and its component

 

commanders share a close working relationship (see figure above).30

 

Click here to view image

 

STRATCOM's Future

 

William J. Perry, Secretary of Defense agrees the U.S. must maintain our

 

nuclear forces in sufficient size and capability.31 But as the defense budget declines,

 

personnel are reduced, and more bases are closed, what is the future of STRATCOM?

 

For STRATCOM to survive in the 199Os and beyond, they must concentrate on the

 

following: (1) nuclear posture review and (2) re-engineering the single integrated

 

operational plan.

 

After ten months of discussion about how the U.S. should proceed with its

 

nuclear weapons program, the U.S. has a new nuclear posture. The Nuclear Posture

 

Review (NPR), called "Lead but Hedge", is a two step process: (1) cuts in weapons

 

and (2) slow the overall arms-reduction process.32 The NPR was comprised of a

 

joint military-civilian team reviewing policy, doctrine, force structure, command and

 

control, operations, security, safety and arms control in a single review. The group

 

worked closely with the Department of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Services, and the

 

unified commanders. Defense Secretary William J. Perry stated, "the small but real

 

danger [is that]...Russia might fail and a new government might arise hostile to the

 

United States, still armed with 25,000 nuclear weapons."33

 

The U.S. will still keep the nuclear triad in tact for the next ten years. There

 

was talk of eliminating 150 Minuteman ICBMs by the DoD, but this did not happen.

 

The reason was the current turmoil in the former U.S.S.R. The U.S. will still keep

 

the philosophy of "last resort" nuclear attack against our homeland and ruling out a

 

move to a "no first use" policy.34 If the U.S. adopted a "no first use" policy, this

 

would send signals that the U.S. would absorb a first strike from an aggressor state.

 

But if the U.S. did strike a country with nuclear weapons, we could face national

 

suicide because of retaliation. So far the U.S. has destroyed 4,000 nuclear weapons

 

since 1990 (approximately a third of the nuclear arsenal), while the former U.S.S.R.

 

has reduced only 1,000 nuclear weapons.35

 

Ashton B. Carter, Assistant Secretary for Defense for International Security

 

Affairs stated, "We wanted to show leadership in...eliminating nuclear weapons, but

 

we didn't want to presume the outcome of history not yet written." He also surmised

 

the United States position when he said, "We still believe in nuclear weapons in the

 

United States, and in deterrence. We didn't ease that."36 The U.S. wants to prove

 

to her potential enemies that while cutting our nuclear stockpile, we still have the

 

means to counter any threat presented in out direction.

 

For the Nuclear Policy Review, the whole future of the process was START.

 

START I has each side cutting their nuclear delivery vehicles by 1,600 and

 

accountable warheads to 6,000. START II allows multiple warheads atop submarine

 

missiles but removed from ICBMs. What this means to the U.S. is 1,250 nuclear

 

weapons carried on bombers, including 320 aboard the new B-2 bomber.37

 

For fiscal year 1996, the new force structure will look like this: (1) 450 to 500

 

single warhead Minuteman III ICBMs, (2) fourteen Ohio-class submarines fitted with

 

336 D5 missiles, and (3) twenty B-2s and sixty-six aging B-52s with air launched

 

cruise missiles. All B-1Bs are assigned exclusively to the long-range conventional

 

missions.

 

During the NPR proceeding, some members of Congress and the Pentagon

 

expressed their desires to eliminate one or more legs of the triad (specifically the

 

ICBM). STRATCOM strongly opposed this proposal because they have authority

 

over strategic planning. In fact, Lieutenant General Arlen D. Jameson,

 

USSTRATCOM's deputy commander in chief, said the NPR, revalidated the basic

 

requirements for a triad of overlapping forces. He said, "that is something we at

 

USSTRATCOM feel strongly about."38

 

Even though the U.S. is reducing their weapons stockpile, Russia is

 

developing three new strategic weapon systems: (1) the SS-25, dubbed "Fat Boy", a

 

single-war head road-mobile ICBM, (2) silo based SS-25 in existing SS-18 silos (all

 

SS-18s are to be eliminated under START), and (3) a submarine-launched ballistic

 

missile replacing existing SLBMs.39 This is sending mix signals to our country. On

 

the one hand Russia has signed both START agreements (to reduce their nuclear

 

stockpile), then they want to develop new strategic weapon systems. This is due to

 

the uncertainty in all four CIS countries and possibly the old way of thinking about

 

nuclear weapons in military security.

 

General Jameson stated the NPR had produced policies that "walk a fine line"

 

between arms reduction and force preservation. The structure has no fat, according

 

to him, but the force structure is "adequate for us to carry out our responsibilities at

 

this time. We believe this will be an adequate force level that provides us the

 

flexibility...to deal with the real world uncertainties."40

 

The end of the Cold War has ironically compounded the planning challenge:

 

prompting a wholesale review and reshaping of the associated processes.41 During

 

the Cold War, the nuclear war planning process in support of the United States'

 

deterrent strategy followed a standard three-step paradigm: (1) national intelligence

 

sources identified potential targets within the Soviet Union, (2) national policy

 

guidance prioritized those targets, and (3) then the targets were matched against

 

available forces. What has changed since the end of the Cold War is what happens in

 

each of these steps.

 

The intelligence community can no longer focus on a predictable Soviet

 

threat-rather they must shift to a global focus to identity a multitude of potential

 

threats. National guidance has changed to account for the dissolution of the Warsaw

 

Pact and the Soviet Union. And lastly, strategic force structure has diminished

 

significantly. Resources simply do not exist to simultaneously cover every possible

 

contingency. This means that STRATCOM can no longer rely on a fixed SIOP and

 

take 18 months to build it as was the case during the Cold War. Instead,

 

STRATCOM planners are working to develop an adaptive planning process that will

 

offer the President a variety of options in response to any crisis. The goal is to

 

provide viable options in less than 24 hours.

 

Because of this lengthy lead time, planners traditionally had three SIOPs

 

being worked at any given time: one in the field, one about to be implemented, and

 

the third in its initial stage. Nearly a year and a half of planning effort was required

 

to produce each SIOP. During the Cold War, planners had the luxury of time to

 

prepare a detailed SIOP because of the focused Soviet threat. However, the planners

 

no longer have that luxury due to the changing world affairs.

 

Planning time is now at a premium for three reasons: (1) changed threats, (2)

 

force structure reductions, and (3) increased planning requirements. The Soviet threat

 

to the SIOP has disappeared. In its place, new threats have emerged including

 

instability and residual nuclear capability within the republics of the former U.S.S.R.,

 

the rise of potentially hostile regional powers, and the proliferation of weapons of

 

mass destruction. The world is changing so rapidly that a SIOP implemented

 

tomorrow that was based on threats existing eighteen months ago would be obsolete

 

the very minute it was placed into effect. Not only has the threat changed, but so has

 

U.S. strategic force structure. The disengagement process including arms control and

 

deposturing initiatives has significantly reduced U.S. strategic forces. Additionally,

 

the current budget climate may necessitate additional reductions. Changes in force

 

structure require STRATCOM planners to make rapid adjustments to existing plans

 

because planning requirements have changed. In addition to the SIOP, the National

 

Command Authority requires additional plans with equally high degrees of integration

 

and accuracy. These additional plans can be built and placed on the shelf, or

 

prepared, distributed, and executed within hours of the need arising. In response to

 

rapidly changing events, the SIOP must now be developed in approximately six

 

months instead of eighteen months.

 

 

Conclusion

 

During the height the Cold War, there was a definite need for SAC--strategic

 

deterrence. SAC had two-thirds of the triad, but with the changing world events

 

CINCSAC could not, in good conscious, keep selling the Congress the need for SAC.

 

Instead, STRATCOM came into existence placing the nation's nuclear war planning

 

under one command, and providing unified, centralized management of strategic

 

planning and fighting. In the end, SAC's motto "Peace is Our Profession" worked:

 

proof is no missile or bomber ever detonated. STRATCOM is marching to a new

 

tune, but only time will tell if they can meet the demands of its former command.

 

Thinking of who had the responsibility for SAC's demise and STRATCOM's vision,

 

an Agatha Christie novel comes to mind, and the question is asked, "Who killed

 

SAC?" The answer, [changing world affairs] and "The Butler did it!"42

 

NOTES

 

1. The term strategic has different meanings today. Strategic during the 1950s

through the 1980a meant the use of our bombers, ICBMs, or SLBMs. In the 1990s,

strategic can define location or distance. For further information, see Captain Judy

Graffis, USAF, "Strategic Use of Care", Air Power Journal, Special Edition 1994.

 

2. "SAC Stands Down," New York Times, 3 June 1992, Sec. A20.

 

3. Gen Carl A. Spaatz, letter, CG/AAF to CG/SAC, subject: Interim Mission,

12 March 1946.

 

4. For additional information on the role of the strategic bombers (e.g. B-52, B-

1B, and B-2) in a conventional role, see Maj Jerry Dillon, "The Strategic Conventional

Bomber," Command and Staff College, 1993.

 

5. Norman Polmar, Strategic Air Command (Maryland: Nautical and Aviation

Publishing Company, 1979), 7.

 

6. Bill Yenne, SAC, a Primer of Modern Strategic Airpower (California:

Presidio Press, 1985), 63-66.

 

7. Polmar, 49.

 

8. Polmar, 60. During an reenlistment drive in 1957, a status board was

maintained to reflect the names of commanders who met the quota. The theme of the

reenlistment drive was Maintaining Peace is Our Profession. When a painter could not

find room to accommodate all of the words, project officers decided to omit the word

"Maintaining" from the sign. Visiting Headquarters SAC, Colonel Charles T. Van Vliet,

Eighth Air Force Director of Information, saw the sign and liked it. He took the idea

back to Westover AFB and placed a large sign that read "Peace is Our Profession" at

Westover's main gate.

 

9. Maryann Mrowca, "Strategic Air Command is No More," Boston Globe, 26

May 1992, 3.

 

10. Jeff Gauger, "After Four Historic Decades, SAC Follows Cold War into

Sunset," Omaha World-Herald, 31 May 1992, Sec. A1.

 

11. Yenne, 86-119.

 

12. Edward Cody, "Full-Service Fill-ups at Gas Tank in the Sky," Washington

Post, 5 February 1991, Sec. A10.

 

13. Julie Bird, "Torch is Passed," Air Force Times, 8 June 1992, 13.

 

14. James W. Canan, "The New Order in Omaha," Air Force Magazine, March

1994, 28.

 

15. Mrowca, 3.

 

16. Julie Bird, "Retiring Familiar Colors, Welcoming the New," Air Force

Times, 15 June 1992, 8.

 

17. General George Lee Butler, USAF, "Disestablishing SAC," Air Power

History, The Journal of Air and Space History, vol. 40, no. 3 (Fall 1993): 6.

 

18. Canan,28.

 

19. Thomas W. Lippman, "START I Agreement Takes Effect Monday,"

Washington Post, 4 December 1994, Sec. A46.

 

20. Juan J. Walte, "Cold War-negotiated N-pact Officially Becomes the Law,"

USA Today, 6 December 1994, Sec. 10A.

 

21. General Butler, "Disestablishing SAC," 6-7.

 

22. General Butler, 7.

 

23. General Butler, 7.

 

24. General Butler, 7.

 

25. General Butler, 10.

 

26. General Butler, 10. The detailed outline on the deactivation of SAC and the

stand-up of STRATCOM are still classified; I am presenting a very simplistic view on

the chain of events.

 

27. Bird, "Retiring Familiar Colors, Welcoming the New," 8.

 

28. Canan, 28. The following are types of weapon systems STRATCOM has

controll over during a nuclear crisis or war: missiles and submarines (ICBMs, Poseidon,

and Trident SSBNs), bombers (B-1Bs, B-2s, and B-52s), tankers (KC-10s and KC-135s),

and airborne command posts (Navy E-6 TACAMO (take charge and move out)), USAF

E-4B National Emergency Airborne Command Post, and USAF EC-135 "Looking Glass"

planes. The EC-135s are retiring and E-6 TACAMO is taking over.

 

29. USSTRATCOM Public Affairs, J020, Offutt AFB, NE.

 

30. USSTRATCOM Public Affairs, J020, Offutt Air Force

Base, NE, 92-1.

 

31. Department of Defense, Annual Report to the President and the Congress

(Washington, DC: GPO, 1995), 163.

 

32. Bill Gertz, "The New Nuclear Policy: Lead but Hedge," Air Force

Magazine, January 1995, 34. For further information on where STRATCOM is going

with their targeting and plans for the new world see Barbara Starr, "Targeting Rethink

May Lead to Non-nuclear STRATCOM Role," Jane's Defence Week, 22 May 1993,

19; Eric Schmitt, "Head of Nuclear Forces Plans For a New World," The New York

Times, 25 February 1993, Sec. B7. "ICBM Proposal Resurrected," Air Force Times, 12

December 1994, 34.

 

33. Bill Gertz, "New U.S. Nuclear Strategy Called Mutual Assured Safety;

Policy Leads in Cuts, Hedges Against Russian Reversal," The Washington Times, 23

September 1994, Sec. A3.

 

34. Art Pine, "U.S. Won't Revamp Nuclear Arms Policy," Los Angeles Times,

23 September 1994, Sec. A7.

 

35. Terry Atlas and Christopher Drew, "Cold War Still Guides U.S. Nuclear

Policy," Chicago Tribune, 25 September 1994, Sec. C1.

 

36. Gertz, "The New Nuclear Policy: Lead but Hedge," 35.

 

37. Department of Defense, 163.

 

38. Gertz, "The New Nuclear Policy: Lead but Hedge," 36.

 

39. Gertz, 37.

 

40. Gertz, 37.

 

41. General Lee Butler, United States Air Force, "Group Reinvents War

Planning System," STRATUS, 20 January 1994, 1. I was a on two the Course of Action

teams at STRATCOM. I am also very familiar with the SIOP process, since I was in

SAC for eleven and a half years and in STRATCOM (J6) for two and half years.

 

42. Canan, 27.

 

Bibliography

 

 

 

 

Atlas, Terry and Drew, Christopher. "Cold War Still Guides U.S. Nuclear Policy."

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______. "Retiring Familiar Colors, Welcoming the New." Air Forces Times,

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