Military News

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Hyten Discusses 21st Century Strategic Deterrence

By Terri Moon Cronk DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2017 — U.S. Strategic Command priorities center on providing a strategic deterrent, providing a decisive response if deterrence fails, and carrying out missions with a combat-ready force, Stratcom’s commander, Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, said today.

Hyten said those priorities are his vision as commander of Stratcom, when he addressed the Hudson Institute, here. The Hudson is a think tank and research center dedicated to nonpartisan analysis of U.S. and international economic, security, and political issues.

Those priorities apply to each of Stratcom’s missions: to provide tailored nuclear space, cyber, mobile strikes, missile defense, electronic warfare and intelligence capabilities for the nation and U.S. allies, he said.

Nuclear Deterrence

The purpose of U.S. nuclear deterrence is to prevent nuclear attack on the United States, and it works, Hyten said, adding, “every day we are preventing nuclear attack on the United States.” 

Have we convinced our adversaries across the world to give up nuclear weapons? Hyten asked, adding, “the answer is no.”

The United States has not come under strategic attack in any of the areas that are under his command, which is the whole point of having deterrent capability, Hyten said.

He pointed out Defense Secretary Jim Mattis this morning said, “The strategic deterrent mission is the most important mission in the Department of Defense because we have to prevent fighting a war that we know we can't win. So, we have to prevent fighting.”

Combat Ready

“[To] do that we have to be powerful and ready,” the general said. “And that means we have to have a combat-ready force.”

And a combat ready force does not just apply to the nuclear mission, he noted.

“The nuclear piece is quite easy to understand,” Hyten said. “If the United States is attacked, we will respond.”
Hyten said as war happens, it might extend into space. “Some adversary may push it there, he said.

“And so the response and how it's different than the nuclear side is the response in the recommendation I give the president of the United States. If we get attacked in space I may not recommend a response in space,” he said.

“Because that may not be in our best interests,” Hyten explained. “I will recommend a strategic response of some kind. But [it] may be conventional and may be in cyber, and it could be any number of things because it's just war and war requires a response to an adversary and if an adversary is extending something in a space, then we have to figure out how to defeat that adversary -- not to defeat cyber.”

Engage the Public

Hyten encouraged the audience at Hudson Institute to start engaging in the public debate, not just about nuclear deterrence, and not just about missile defense.

“That's where it starts,” he said, “but this [is the] broader issue of what is deterrence in the 21st century, how do we deter our adversaries and how do we deter strategic attack, which is broader than just the nuclear capability.”

(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)

POW/MIA: Colorado Airmen Honor Missing Personnel

By Air Force Staff Sgt. Tiffany Lundberg, 21st Space Wing

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., Sept. 20, 2017 — Dating back to World War II through the Korean War, Vietnam War, Cold War, Iraq and other conflicts, there are approximately 82,468 service members still missing in action, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Those missing in action were remembered here during the annual POW/MIA Remembrance Week, Sept. 11-15. The week included a flag raising ceremony, a 24-hour run and concluded with a remembrance and retreat ceremony.

“These moments for us to pause and consider the sacrifice of the families and the sacrifice of the warriors who have gone before us in service to our nation, serve as an opportunity to consider the past but it also serves as something to be mindful of as we continue to serve today, as we continue to serve tomorrow and into the future,” said Air Force Col. Todd Moore, 21st Space Wing commander.

Kicking off the week just as the sun came up, nine flights of students and members from the Forrest L. Vosler Noncommissioned Officer Academy and Peterson AFB formed up to raise the American and POW/MIA flags, Sept. 11.

The flags stayed up all week through the 24-hour run where 432 base personnel volunteered to run a three-mile loop to keep the POW/MIA flag moving for a total of 148 miles.

On the final loop of the 24-hour run, the Peterson Fire Department, 21st Security Forces Squadron, Colorado Patriot Guard Riders and the Green Knights Military Motorcycle Club escorted the runners from start to finish to the remembrance ceremony. The runners carried the flags of the five military service branches and the POW/MIA flag.

During the ceremony, the military’s Code of Conduct was read by six service members including airmen, sailors, soldiers and a Canadian service member.

Retired Army Master Sgt. Edwin Beck also spoke at the ceremony. Beck was a World War II gunner in the 106th Infantry Division, 422nd Regiment, when he was captured by German forces during the Battle of the Bulge.

“I was MIA, I was a POW, now I am an ex-POW/MIA,” Beck said. “I’m privileged to be amongst these young troops here, because you are the troops and the people that are going to keep this country going.”

Beck joined the Army in 1943. On Dec. 19, 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge, Beck’s unit was surrounded and captured by the Germans. Beck and his fellow captives were forced to march more than 150 miles in five days to a POW camp.

Beck spent approximately six months as a POW before he escaped, said Jim Wear, a remembrance ceremony guest speaker and Salute to American Veterans founder and organizer.

Moore concluded the ceremony before the American and POW/MIA flags were presented in the retreat ceremony.

“In the face of the uncertainty surrounding us -- whether it’s in Eastern Europe, the East and South China seas, the Korean Peninsula, the Middle East -- we must bring honor to our heritage by pushing the mission forward and taking care of each other,” he said

Moore added, “You are remembered,” Moore said of the missing. “We will not leave an Airman behind. I am honored and humbled to serve with you. May we never forget.”

National Guard Chief Observes Troops in Action Amid Hurricane Damage, Wildfires

By Terri Moon Cronk DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2017 — As Army and Air National Guard troops worked in the hardest-hit areas of Florida, so too did guardsmen work amid a raging fire in Oregon, as observed by a National Guard Bureau team that traveled to both crises Sept. 16-17.
189th Airlift Wing provides aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma

National Guard Bureau Chief Air Force Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel and a team of guardsmen traveled to Key West and Marathon Key, Florida, Sept. 16 to observe troops at work in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The following day, the team was in Brookings, Oregon, where the National Guard was working with local partners to assuage the effects of wildfires.

Florida’s Hurricane Damage

“In Florida, everybody was thankful, not just the first responders, but the people in the communities were happy and relieved to see our men and women in uniform there to make things better,” Lengyel said of the effort to bring services to the people of South Florida by 15,000 guard troops.

The bureau chief said it was a “great effort” of people -- guardsmen and partner organizations -- working together to bring Floridians food and comfort after the hurricane.

Army Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Kadavy, director of the Army National Guard, traveled with the team to Florida and Oregon, and he said other on-the-ground agencies and organizations are thankful for the guard.

“A [Federal Emergency Management Agency] coordinator in Key West told me FEMA could not do what they’re doing quickly without the support of the Army and Air National Guard setting up points of distribution and providing water, food and other key commodities to the citizens of South Florida,” he said.

Army Brig. General Mike A. Canzoneri, assistant adjutant general of the Florida National Guard, said the guard troops have been essential to Monroe County in the Florida Keys.

“They have been performing humanitarian assistance, law enforcement support, search and rescue [and] essentially trying to provide stability to the community until it can get back on its feet,” he said of guardsmen from 12 states.

Oregon’s Chetco Bar Fire

When Lengyel’s team left Florida, they flew to Brookings, Oregon, on the Pacific Ocean coast to observe Guard support as local firefighters fought the nearby Chetco Bar fire that comprised more than 188,000 acres in the state that day.

With about 419 guardsmen on the ground for the Chetco Bar fire, Guard support also extended to the wildfires in Washington state, Montana and California, he added.

“It’s what the guard does in terms of the war fight, homeland [and] partnership missions,” he noted of National Guard capabilities. “We see a little bit of all of that going on as we travel around.”

Even though the National Guard has responded to Hurricanes Irma in Florida and Harvey in Texas, and multiple Western wildfires, their spirits are good, Lengyel said. “It’s been fantastic for me to see that morale has been really remarkably high,” he added.

“This morning, talking to people here, the soldiers and airmen participating in the firefighting activities are happy to be here. They like the work [and] they like working with the civilian partners -- it’s just been a fantastic opportunity to see guardsmen do what they do,” Lengyel said.

Guard Partnerships

And the National Guard has good relationships with local partners, he said.

“[In Oregon], I talked to U.S. Forestry and state forestry response folks who are professional firefighters,” Kadavy said. “And with our soldiers and airmen here, it enabled them to focus on their expertise, fighting the fires. So, it’s a team effort -- state, local and federal. This is the National Guard sweet spot. This is what we’re designed for and best meant to do.”

Most of the guardsmen responding to hurricanes and wildfires have experience deploying to war zones, and they have also supported national security objectives, Kadavy said.

“This is the other part of the National Guard ... the domestic response and support to our local authorities,” he noted. “And they are so proud of their ability, their training and the capabilities they got from learning about the war fight.  And they’re applying it to help their local citizens, communities and friends and families. Morale is awesome.”

“Everything has been overwhelmingly positive and [the local partners] are thankful for the support. The thing about the National Guard is they know us because we live in their states, we’re from their communities, and so all of the [partner agencies] are familiar with our leaders, our guardsmen because we’ve been here before fighting fires in Oregon,” Kadavy said.

“We’re here to fight wars and to deploy when governors call us to fight disasters, whether it’s wildfires or hurricanes -- and the partnerships are evident too as I see the relationships we have with the interagencies, the first responders, the networks and the people in the communities,” Lengyel said. “It’s uniquely guard and I’m proud of it all.”