OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, NE -- U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper was at Offutt Air Force Base to tour the new U.S. Strategic Command headquarters.
Esper met with StratCom director Admiral Charles Richard and took the tour of the facility with him, then later took questions at a town hall meeting.
He also got a look at the part of Offutt that was affected by last year's flooding. Esper came to Nebraska after he was at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.
Late last year, StratCom headquarters were relocated to Offut Air Force Base. StratCom leadership was handed over from General John Hyten to Admiral Charles Richard.
StratCom moved out of a building that it has been in for over sixty years. The new building carries the same name as the old one, named after General Curtis E. LeMay, who led StratCom from 1948 to 1957.
“C2F is the newest weapon system for nuclear command, control and communications in the country,” David L. Norquist, Deputy Secretary of Defense said at the dedication ceremony.
“[It] will support the modernization of our strategic assets, the nuclear triad, and the nuclear command, control, and communications architecture,” he added. “As the new home of over 3,000 personnel, it is a living, breathing weapon system designed to change and grow as threats and capabilities evolve,” Secretary Norquist said.
LeMay, affectionally called the father of Strategic Air Command (SAC), was one of the youngest and longest-serving generals in military history. He began flying bi-winged planes in the 1920s. He participated in the first mass flight of B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft to South America in 1938. During World War II he helped develop bombing techniques with the B-17’s, which turned the tide in the European Theater. In 1948, LeMay brought SAC to Omaha.