Military News

Friday, January 22, 2016

Stratcom Chief Talks Nuclear Deterrence, Modernization



By Cheryl Pellerin DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, January 22, 2016 — The global security environment calls for a continued strong nuclear deterrent along with modernization for elements of the nuclear triad and advanced training for U.S. Strategic Command’s workforce, the Stratcom commander said here today.

Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney addressed an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, discussing strategic deterrent forces as a foundation for national security.

Haney said today’s security environment is complex, dynamic and volatile, compounded by asymmetric methods, proliferation of advanced technologies, and provocative and destabilizing behavior by current and potential adversaries.

At the same time, he said, while the United States is engaged in a campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and other violent extremists, the behavior on an international stage by Russia, China, North Korea and Iran warrants U.S. attention.

Russia’s Programs

Haney noted Moscow’s continued efforts to modernize conventional and strategic military programs, “emphasizing new strategic approaches, declaring and at times demonstrating their ability to escalate … and conducting destabilizing actions associated with Syria, Ukraine and Crimea while also violating the Intermediate Nuclear Force Treaty and other international accords and norms.”

Russia also is developing counter-space capabilities and conducting malicious activities in cyberspace, the admiral said, noting that Russia claims to be establishing its own cyber command that will conduct offensive cyber activities.

Still, Haney said, there is continued progress in the New START treaty, which reduces the number of nuclear weapons and launchers that the United States and Russia deploy.

New START Progress

“By complying with a series of treaties, the United States has reduced its stockpile by 85 percent relative to its Cold War peak,” the admiral said. “Instead of dozens of delivery systems, we're well on our way to only four. We are retaining and modernizing only those systems needed to sustain a stable and effective deterrent capability.”

Given continued funding and authority, Haney said, “we're on track to achieve New START limits of 1,550 deployed warheads and 700 deployed delivery systems by February 2018.”

The treaty, he added, engenders stability by maintaining rough equivalency in size, capability and transparency through inspections, and it helps to assure non-nuclear nations that they don’t need their own nuclear deterrents.

On China, Haney said, “It's not just the build-up of features into larger land masses in the South China Sea, it's also the build up of their overarching military capabilities to support their anti-access, area denial campaign and quest for sovereignty in the East and South China seas.”

China’s Military Investments

China continues to make significant military investments in its nuclear and conventional capabilities with a stated goal of defending its sovereignty, he added. For example, China is re-engineering its long-range ballistic missiles to carry multiple nuclear warheads, and it recently conducted a sixth successful test of a hyperglide vehicle.

China also is “parading missiles, clearly displaying their modernization and their capability advancements. China's pursuit of conventional global strike capabilities, offensive counter-space technologies and exploitation of computer networks raises questions about China's global aspirations,” Haney said.

North Korea and Iran

North Korea, with claims of miniaturized warheads, recent claims of a successful hydrogen bomb test and developments in road-mobile and submarine-launched ballistic missile technologies, shows disrespect for United Nations Security Council mandates and a lack of regard for regional stability, the admiral said. And with Iran, he added, even with the joint comprehensive plan of action, the United States must remain vigilant of any shift in actions regarding nuclear weapon ambitions, ballistic missile programs and continued involvement in Middle East conflicts.

As a functional combatant command, Haney said, Stratcom has transregional responsibility that extends from under the sea all the way up to geosynchronous orbit.

Six Priorities

Haney listed what he called his six overarching priorities for Strategic Command:

-- Deter strategic attack against the United States and provide assurance to allies;

-- Provide a safe, secure, effective and ready nuclear deterrent force;

-- Deliver comprehensive warfighting solutions;

-- Address challenges in space and cyberspace;

-- Build, sustain and support partnerships; and

-- Anticipate change and confront uncertainty.

“Achieving comprehensive deterrence and assurance requires more than just nuclear weapons systems,” the admiral said. It rests on a whole-of-government approach, he explained, and includes having a robust intelligence apparatus; space, cyber, conventional and missile defense capabilities; global command, control and communications; and comprehensive plans that link organizations and coherently knit their capabilities.

America’s Nuclear Deterrent

America’s nuclear deterrent, Haney added, is a synthesis of dedicated sensors, assured command and control, a triad of delivery systems, nuclear weapons, enabling infrastructure, trained and ready people and treaties and nonproliferation activities.

“All remain essential to our national security and continue to provide a stabilizing force in the global geopolitical fabric of the world,” he added.

Deterrence also requires a comprehensive understanding and perception of the strategic environment from an adversary's point of view, the admiral noted.

Haney said the command has made great strides in force improvement, readiness tracking and resource commitments, but most of its delivery systems and the nuclear command, control and communications architecture must be replaced in the 2025 to 2030 timeframe.

Strategic Stability

“We are fast approaching the point where [failing to modernize these elements] will put at risk our safe, secure and effective and ready nuclear deterrent, potentially jeopardizing strategic stability,” he said.

The budget has a deterrent value of its own and reflects the nation's commitment to its deterrent strategy, he added. “If we are to meet future challenges, we must have a synchronized campaign of investment supporting the full range of military operations that secure our national security objectives across the globe,” Haney said.

In the same way that Stratcom sustains and modernizes its platforms and weapons, the admiral said, the command also must sustain and modernize its workforce.

Future Force

“We must invest in the future of the professionals, both civilian and military, who operate, maintain, secure, engineer and support our nuclear enterprise,” he said, adding that Strategic Command is working in this area.

“For example, we’ve established an academic alliance program focused on developing a community of interest of deterrence and assurance in the context of national security,” the admiral said.

Stratcom is partnered with 20 universities and military higher-education institutes, including Stanford University, Georgetown University, National Defense University and several Nebraska universities, he said.

“Tomorrow, we will kick off the third 13-week fellowship program at the University of Nebraska-Omaha aimed specifically at providing professional growth opportunities for my civilian workforce,” Haney explained.

In March, he added, the same university will host an inaugural deterrence and assurance workshop aimed at bringing those professionals together for discussions.

“We must modernize the force, including the people, to ensure this force remains capable of delivering strategic stability and foundational deterrence well into the future, even as we pursue third-offset strategic choices,” Haney said.

The Defense Department’s “Third Offset Strategy” builds on work done in the 1950s and 1970s to ensure the United States and its allies maintain their technological edge over potential adversaries.

ONE: unshakable faith

by Tech. Sgt. Jarad A. Denton
501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs


1/20/2016 - RAF ALCONBURY, United Kingdom -- A short crop of white, unruly hair betrayed his age, while a broad, almost mischievous, smile seemed to bring out the face of a young boy, born and raised in Poland.

He spoke in a melodic tone. His words heavily laden by an accent, undiminished by time spent in, and among, Americans.

"I was born 75 miles from Berlin," said U.S. Air Force Chaplain, Maj. Mitchell Zygadlo. "Many times we went to East Germany. I didn't too much feel any oppression at that time, although we always felt the presence of communist Russia."

Throughout his youth, Zygadlo said the political and military pressure from the Soviet Union was a constant, though not-always-felt, companion during these halcyon years. It wasn't until 1987, when he joined a Roman Catholic missionary seminary in PoznaƄ, Poland, that he began to see the effects of living under a Communist regime.

"We started to know and realize that the fourth department of the secret police followed us," Zygadlo said. "Each of us seminarians had a file. They wrote about us - what we said, what we did. I was not directly persecuted, but I felt the pressure."

Zygadlo said he did not fully understand the limitations to his freedom until he immigrated to the United States.

"For me, when I came to the United States, it was most important to feel the freedom," Zygadlo said, tapping his hand to his heart. "When I became a U.S. citizen I wanted to repay to Americans for everything they had done for us - especially the U.S. military."

That repayment came in the form of service to his adopted country, when Zygadlo commissioned as an Air Force chaplain in 1998. His faith, instilled in him from a young age, spurred him to devote his life to the service of others.

"My parents gave me faith, which I think is the most important spiritual quality you can have to stay strong," he said. "If you are strong spiritually then you can move the mountains and you can do everything."

Zygadlo compared spiritual resiliency to maintaining physical fitness. If an Airman is physically weak, he or she will have difficulty passing the Air Force physical fitness test. However, he said, if an Airman is strong and trains his or her body, they will have no trouble passing the test. Zydaglo said he encourages everyone to train their faith.

"I tell people to practice their faith - whatever they believe," he said. "For myself, the faith and spirituality are most important."

Placing both hands on his heart in a gesture of affection, Zygadlo smiled again.

"This is my spirit," he said, proudly. "If I am smiling, if I am giving something to other people, then this is my share of life and my faith."

His grin seemed to stretch from ear to ear as an embodiment of a life enriched by faith. However, behind that radiant smile was a life also scarred by tragedy.

"The most difficult thing, for me as a priest, has been sharing bad news with others," Zygadlo said, his smile fading. "Death notifications are very hard, especially with my own experience when I was young."

He paused and looked at the floor, his hands falling to his lap as though the strength had been drained from his arms. He was no longer an Air Force chaplain at RAF Alconbury, United Kingdom. Mitchell Zygadlo was a young teenager living with his parents in Poland.

"I was only just 13," he began. "It was late one evening when I had this vision, this sense that something had happened."

A short time later news arrived that Zygadlo's brother had been killed in a car accident.

"I remember the pain, the cry of my parents," he said. "We didn't know what to do in this moment of tragedy. Later on you can maybe heal, but the pain stays with you - all the time."

Zygadlo said he carries that pain inside whenever he is part of the team responsible for notifying a family that their son or daughter has died.

"I know the feeling of the people who go through these tragedies," he continued. "It is difficult, sometimes, to help them see through that pain. But, I believe it is my duty to help others."

Once again, a smile returned to Zygadlo's face.

"I check my conscience every day and ask what have I done good today," he said. "Did I help someone? If I didn't do anything then I feel as though I lost my day."

Even though he said a day may be lost due to inaction, Zygadlo said he never feels as though he has lost his way.

"Sometimes, when you feel alone, you cannot find your way through the darkness," he said. "But, you are not alone. You can share your difficulties with your friends, with those around you who you lean on for support."

Support comes in many forms, Zygadlo said. It may be spiritual, physical, mental or social - but it is always present.

"I try to stay balanced as I share my energy with others," he said. "Life is about balance. We all may come together, either in our military family or outside of it, and help one another through any troubles that come our way."

Operation Desert Storm changed the Air Force through innovation



Secretary of the Air Force Command Information / Published January 21, 2016

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Lt. Gen. John Raymond addressed the Air Force Association on innovations that took place during Operation Desert Storm at the first AFA breakfast of the year Jan. 20 at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.

“The anniversary of Operation Desert Storm affords us an excellent opportunity, which brings to life the vision statement of the U.S. Air Force,” Raymond said. “The world’s greatest Air Force -- powered by Airmen and fueled by innovation.”

The Air Force celebrated the 25th anniversary of Desert Storm on Jan. 16. The occasion offered an opportunity to reflect upon the first conflict in history to make comprehensive use of stealth and space systems support capabilities against a modern, integrated air defense.

With the help of the total force model, the Air Force made several contributions that led to one of the most successful air campaigns in U.S. history.

Desert Storm is largely recognized as the first space war. It was the first war where operationalized strategic assets were used for operational and tactical advantages. The Defense Support Program helped add to the advantage by developing missile warning satellites used to detect and geolocate Scud missile launches in theater.

Just as it is important to reflect on previous conflicts, Raymond noted the Desert Storm anniversary presents the opportunity to compare and contrast the 1991 and 2016 versions of the Air Force.

“Today we are the smallest, busiest (and) oldest Air Force, operating in the most complex and strategic environment that it has ever faced,” he said.

The Air Force is comprised of fewer aircraft than in 1991, but today’s force is fully integrated. Airmen from the Air National Guard and Reserve maintain 55 percent of the Air Force’s aircraft. Raymond said without the total force Airmen completing day-to-day missions and capabilities professionally, operations would not be successful.

“As we sit here this morning, our Airmen are fully engaged all over the world,” Raymond said. “Airpower continues to be the force of choice countering the violent and extremist threats.”

Innovation is still a major part of Air Force operations. During the period of Desert Storm there was no such thing as a remotely piloted aircraft. Today, the RPA program represents the weapons system with the largest number of pilots and increasing demands for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, thanks to emerging requirements and combatant commander needs.

“The Air Force has an incredible story to tell and that story is innovation, which has been written by incredible Airmen who operate those capabilities for us each and every day,” Raymond said.

MET provides secure comms to warfighter



By Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs / Published January 22, 2016

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar (AFNS) -- The first fully funded Air Force modernization enterprise terminal (MET) outside the U.S. is now operational at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.

The terminal, which cost $15 million, provides secure communication capabilities including voice, video and data services, linking service members in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility with military leaders around the world.

The system also features anti-jamming software and uses the most current technology, said Vernon Jones, the 379th Expeditionary Communications Squadron plans and programs manager.

“It provides tremendous capability and reliability to the warfighter,” said Jones, a retired Marine chief warrant officer 2.

Jones, who served more than 20 years in the Navy and Marine Corps, said he knows how important it is to communicate quickly and securely. He served in combat on three occasions and said having reliable communication is vital.

“In Iraq, we were moving from one base to another near Baghdad,” Jones said. “As we were going in, I couldn’t get any of my satellites up and locked to get vital information to the logistics people who were coming in after us. Our primary terminal was down and that left about 5,000 Marines without reliable communications.”

Jones said his Marines lost secure communications capability for two weeks and were forced to send runners in Humvees from point-to-point to deliver secure messages.

“Having been shot at, I understand the criticality of having dependable communications,” he said, “and that’s what this terminal provides.

“It ensures the CENTCOM commander has the communication capability to get his guidance to his subordinate commanders to execute the mission,” he continued. “It also provides the assurance to the warfighter that when an extraction team or a rescue helicopter is needed, it will be there.”

The terminal is part of the Defense Department’s MET program, said Lt. Col. Carlos Alford, the 379th ECS commander.

“The program’s goal is to install new terminals around the world to enable U.S. military forces to take advantage of increased data capabilities of its constellation of Ka-band wideband global communication satellites,” Alford said. “The MET will simultaneously handle both X and Ka-band signals which use WGCS.

“The previous Defense Satellite Communications System could only handle X-band and one WGCS satellite is equal to about 10 DSCS satellites in terms of bandwidth it provides,” he added.

The MET program will continue expanding by installing more enterprise terminals around the globe, Alford said. In 2018, Al Udeid AB will likely have a second MET set up to further increase CENTCOM’s communication capabilities.

Work to install the MET began in September 2012. A few years later on Jan. 14, the terminal was certified to operate by the Defense Information Systems Agency.

Carlise Krawzyk, a 379th ECS MET program manager, oversaw installation of the terminal and said she was committed to seeing the project completed.

“This project has been challenging and I just kept thinking we have to get this done, we are going to support the warfighter,” Krawzyk said.

Krawzyk coordinated with more than 20 agencies within the DOD and the government of Qatar, overcoming numerous obstacles, including a change in contractors early in the process, she said.

“It’s very satisfying to see the MET up and running and know that we’re able to provide reliable and secure communications across the AOR,” Krawzyk said.