U.S. Strategic Command Public Affairs
8/24/2015 - OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- U.S.
Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) and U.S. Navy Submarine Forces
(SUBFOR) sent six company-grade officers, starting last summer, to
participate in a dual-service, nuclear exchange program to enhance
interoperability within the nation's nuclear enterprise.
The program, named Striker Trident, was designed to promote an expanded
view of U.S. Strategic Command's (USSTRATCOM) strategic deterrence
mission by enabling Air Force nuclear missile officers to temporarily
serve with ballistic missile submarines and Navy nuclear
engineer-qualified submarine officers to serve with ground-based missile
"Providing the nation with a safe, secure and effective nuclear
deterrent force is a crucial mission with which USSTRATCOM is charged
through the Unified Command Plan," said U.S. Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney,
USSTRATCOM commander. "Striker Trident represents a highly innovative
and progressive means to enhance inter-service continuity and our
deterrence capability as a whole. I am very proud of the initiative
shown by these organizations and the officers selected for this unique
The hand-selected officers are currently serving multi-year tours with
their new units in order to fully integrate into the day-to-day
operations. Upon completion, they are expected to share the experience
and knowledge gained in the program with their home units and service
U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Michael J. Connor, SUBFOR commander, said the goal
of this program is to provide these officers a better understanding of
how their teammates from other services support the USSTRATCOM mission.
"The Navy and the Air Force work together as part of a carefully crafted
team under the direction of US Strategic Command," Connor said. This
team has the most important mission in the entire Department of Defense
-- prevention of nuclear and major power war. The future leaders of this
team will be better prepared for their future assignments after working
closely with their counterparts from other military branches."
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Stephen W. Wilson, AFGSC commander, whose
memorandum of understanding with Connor enabled the implementation of
Striker Trident, called it a unique opportunity for some of our young
nuclear officers to learn a great deal about the other legs of the
"Ultimately, this experience will benefit USSTRATCOM, the Air Force and
the Navy by creating stronger, better-rounded nuclear professionals to
secure our future," Wilson added. "I look forward to seeing the
evolution and growth of these impressive officers and the Striker
In addition to learning the intricacies of each service's mission,
Striker Trident participants are integrating and operating within
organizations whose cultures differ in many ways to the environments to
which they are accustomed.
Less than six months into his 24-month assignment, U.S. Navy Lt. Randall
Hangartner, one of officers selected for the initial Striker Trident
exchange, is already seeing the benefits of working with a different
service component and leg of the nuclear triad.
He said the most significant takeaway so far is that traditions and
culture have just as much to do with success as rules and regulations,
if not more.
"Everyone brings something to the table and the Air Force truly embraces
diversity," said Hangartner, who is serving with USSTRATCOM's Task
Force 214, an intercontinental ballistic missile unit at F.E. Warren Air
Force Base, Wyoming. "Being from submarines, which recently began
incorporating women into the field, I would bring that mindset back to
the Navy. Seeing the example set by the Air Force shows me that the Navy
is headed in the right direction. Diversity is a positive thing and
must be encouraged and embraced."
More information on the Navy officers' experiences in the Striker
Trident Program will be available in part two of the three-part series.