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United States Strategic Command
US Strategic Command Emblem.svg
Official Emblem of United States Strategic Command.
Active 1 June 1992 to present
Country  United States of America
Type Functional Combatant Command
Role Strategic deterrence, global strike, integrated missile defense, global C4ISR
Part of United States Department of Defense Seal.svg Department of Defense
Headquarters Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, U.S.
Motto(s) Peace is our Profession ...
Website www.stratcom.mil
Commander ADM Charles A. Richard, USN
Deputy Commander Lt Gen Thomas A. Bussiere, USAF
Senior Enlisted Leader FLTCM John J. Perryman, USN[1]

United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) is one of nine Unified Combatant Commands of the United States Department of Defense (DoD). It is charged with space operations (such as military satellites), information operations (such as information warfare), missile defense, global command and control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR), global strike and strategic deterrence (the United States nuclear arsenal), and combating weapons of mass destruction.

Strategic Command was established in 1992 as a successor to Strategic Air Command (SAC). It is headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base south of Omaha, Nebraska. In October 2002, it merged with the United States Space Command (USSPACECOM). It employs more than 2,700 people, representing all four services, including DoD civilians and contractors.

Strategic Command is one of the three Unified Combatant Commands organized along a functional basis. The other six are organized on a geographical basis. The unified military combat command structure is intended to give the President and the Secretary of Defense a unified resource for greater understanding of specific threats around the world and the means to respond to those threats as quickly as possible.

History[edit | edit source]

On 1 June 1992, President George H. W. Bush established the U.S. Strategic Command from the Strategic Air Command (SAC) and other Cold War military bodies, now obsolete due to the change in world politics. The Command unified planning, targeting and wartime employment of strategic forces under one commander. Day-to-day training, equipment and maintenance responsibilities for its forces remained with the Air Force and Navy.

As a result of the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review, the Cold War system of relying solely on offensive nuclear response was modified. Shortly after a meeting between President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in May 2002, a summit was held during which both leaders signed a treaty promising bilateral reductions that would result in a total of 1,700 to 2,200 operationally deployed strategic nuclear weapons for each country by the year 2012.

Space and Global Strike reorganization[edit | edit source]

The activation of the new USSTRATCOM took place on 1 October 2002. The merged command was responsible for both early warning of and defense against missile attack as well as long-range strategic attacks.

President George W. Bush signed Change Two to the Unified Command Plan on 10 January 2003, and tasked USSTRATCOM with four previously unassigned responsibilities: global strike, missile defense integration, Department of Defense Information Operations, and C4ISR (command and control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance). This combination of roles, capabilities and authorities under a single unified command was unique in the history of unified commands.

After some consideration concerning the separation of the Joint Functional Component Command (JFCC) for Space and Global Strike missions, according to AirForceTimes.com[2] and InsideDefense.com,[3] In 2005, General Cartwright began the process of separating the JFCC for Space and Global Strike into two individual JFCCs: a JFCC for Space (JFCC Space) and a JFCC for Global Strike and Integration (JFCC GSI).[4] U.S. Strategic Command officials were expected to deliver a detailed plan on the separation to General Cartwright for approval by September 2006.[5][Clarification needed]

Some officials believed this would allow each to focus more effectively on its primary mission and allow the mission of space to have focused attention and be better integrated with other military capabilities. This comes after some concern by officials and lawmakers such as U.S. Senator Wayne Allard (R-Colo.), an advocate for national security space activities, complained in a March 2006 memo to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld about what he saw as a declining emphasis on space within the U.S. Department of Defense and specifically the way space has been organized at U.S. Strategic Command.[6]

As result of the separation, The Missile Correlation Center in Cheyenne Mountain AFS was broken into two separate entities. NORAD/NORTHCOM (N2C2) now controls the Missile and Space Domain (MSD) and JFCC Space controls the Missile Warning Center (MWC). They are both still located at Cheyenne Mountain AFS. It was expected that MSD would eventually move to Peterson AFB to join the rest of N2C2.[citation needed]

Mission statement[edit | edit source]

The LeMay building

The missions of U.S. Strategic Command are to deter attacks on U.S. vital interests, to ensure U.S. freedom of action in space and cyberspace, to deliver integrated kinetic and non-kinetic effects to include nuclear and information operations in support of U.S. Joint Force Commander operations, to synchronize global missile defense plans and operations, to synchronize regional combating of weapons of mass destruction plans, to provide integrated surveillance and reconnaissance allocation recommendations to the SECDEF, and to advocate for capabilities as assigned.[citation needed]

Subordinate Commands[edit | edit source]

Army[edit | edit source]

Air Force[edit | edit source]

Marines[edit | edit source]

Navy[edit | edit source]

Primary operational units[edit | edit source]

USSTRATCOM exercises command authority over four joint functional component commands, also known as JFCCs as well as Joint Task Forces and Service Components. This combination of authorities, oversight, leadership and management is supposed to enable a more responsive, flattened organizational construct according to the commands leadership.

  • Joint Functional Component Commands These commands are responsible for the day-to-day planning and execution of primary mission areas: space and global strike; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; network warfare; integrated missile defense; and the recently added mission of combating weapons of mass destruction.

Task forces[edit | edit source]

USSTRATCOM relies on various task forces for the execution of its global missions. These include:

Leadership[edit | edit source]

In 2007, General Kevin P. Chilton took over command of USSTRATCOM. He served as the senior commander of the joint military forces from the four branches of the military assigned to the command. He is the leader, steward and advocate of the nation's strategic capabilities.[Clarification needed]

His responsibilities include integrating and coordinating the necessary command and control capability to provide support with the most accurate and timely information for the President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense, and to regional combatant commanders.

On 7 May 2009, Chilton stated that the United States would not be constrained in its response to a cyber attack, therefore demonstrating the utility of his command which combines cyber defense with global strike.[10]

List of combatant commanders[edit | edit source]

No. Commander Term Service branch
Portrait Name Took office Left office Term length
George L. Butler
Butler, George L.General George L. Butler
(born 1939)
1 June 199214 February 19941 year, 258 daysMark of the United States Air Force.svg
U.S. Air Force
Henry G. Chiles Jr.
Chiles, Henry G. Jr.Admiral Henry G. Chiles Jr.
(born 1938)
14 February 199421 February 19962 years, 7 daysEmblem of the United States Navy.svg
U.S. Navy
Eugene E. Habiger
Habiger, Eugene E.General Eugene E. Habiger
(born 1939)
21 February 19961 August 19982 years, 161 daysMark of the United States Air Force.svg
U.S. Air Force
Richard W. Mies
Mies, Richard W.Admiral Richard W. Mies
(born 1944)
1 August 1998November 2001~ 3 years, 153 daysEmblem of the United States Navy.svg
U.S. Navy
James O. Ellis Jr.
Ellis, James O. Jr.Admiral James O. Ellis Jr.
(born 1947)
November 20019 July 2004~ 2 years, 190 daysEmblem of the United States Navy.svg
U.S. Navy
James E. Cartwright
Cartwright, James E.Lieutenant General James E. Cartwright (Acting)
(born 1949)
9 July 20041 September 200454 daysEmblem of the United States Marine Corps.svg
U.S. Marine Corps
James E. Cartwright
Cartwright, James E.General James E. Cartwright
(born 1949)
1 September 200410 August 20072 years, 343 daysEmblem of the United States Marine Corps.svg
U.S. Marine Corps
C. Robert Kehler
Kehler, C. RobertLieutenant General C. Robert Kehler (Acting)
(born 1952)
10 August 20073 October 200754 daysMark of the United States Air Force.svg
U.S. Air Force
Kevin P. Chilton
Chilton, Kevin P.General Kevin P. Chilton
(born 1954)
3 October 200728 January 20113 years, 117 daysMark of the United States Air Force.svg
U.S. Air Force
C. Robert Kehler
Kehler, C. RobertGeneral C. Robert Kehler
(born 1952)
28 January 201115 November 20132 years, 291 daysMark of the United States Air Force.svg
U.S. Air Force
Cecil D. Haney
Haney, Cecil D.Admiral Cecil D. Haney
(born 1955)
15 November 20133 November 20162 years, 354 daysEmblem of the United States Navy.svg
U.S. Navy
John E. Hyten
Hyten, John E.General John E. Hyten
(born 1959)
3 November 201618 November 20193 years, 15 daysMark of the United States Air Force.svg
U.S. Air Force
Charles A. Richard
Richard, Charles A.Admiral Charles A. Richard
(born 1959/1960)
18 November 2019Incumbent1 year, 249 daysEmblem of the United States Navy.svg
U.S. Navy

Innovations[edit | edit source]

A previous commander, General James Cartwright (2004–07), explored ways to incorporate innovative collaborative tools into what has traditionally been considered a very centralized military organization. Speaking at a convention Cartwright said, "Where I would like to be is well outside the comfort zone of my organization. But what we've started with is just some simple 'blogging' tools, to try to change the culture a little bit; to try to allow people to contribute."[citation needed]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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