Published October 21, 2021
The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center is the nuclear-focused center within Air Force Materiel Command. It synchronizes all aspects of nuclear materiel management on behalf of the AFMC commander in direct support of Air Force Global Strike Command. The center’s mission is to deliver nuclear capabilities warfighters use every day to deter and assure. The strategic goal of the center is to ingrain a nuclear ethos that is both innovative and disciplined, and provides time-certain delivery of safe, secure and effective capability to the warfighter.
Vision: Ensuring our nation's most powerful weapon systems are never doubted, always feared.
Motto: "Never Doubted, Always Feared"
Established on March 31, 2006, and headquartered at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, the center has more than 1,800 military and civilian personnel at 18 locations worldwide. It consists of five major execution directorates: Air Delivered Capabilities; Ground Based Strategic Deterrent Systems; Minuteman III Systems; Nuclear Command, Control and Communications (NC3) Integration; and Nuclear Technology and Integration. It also has several functional directorates and the AFNWC Commander is dual-hatted as the Air Force Program Executive Officer for Strategic Systems.
Air Delivered Capabilities Directorate
The Air Delivered Capabilities Directorate is principally located at Kirtland AFB, with operating locations at Eglin AFB, Florida; Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; Ramstein Air Base, Germany; Robins AFB, Georgia; Tinker AFB, Oklahoma; and Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. It also has positions for deputy program and product support managers embedded in program offices for the B-2, B-21, B-52, F-15, F-16, F-35 and authorized test systems and support equipment. The directorate is responsible for delivering, sustaining and supporting air-delivered nuclear weapon systems for our warfighters to secure the future of our nation and our allies every day. Programs managed by the directorate include: B61-12 Life Extension Program and tail kit, Long Range Stand-Off Weapon, W80-4 Life Extension Program, overseas Weapon Storage and Security System, Secure Transportable Maintenance System, Protective Aircraft Shelter Interior Intrusion Detection System, and Air-Launched Cruise Missile (AGM-86B/C/D) sustainment.
Ground Based Strategic Deterrent Systems Directorate
The Ground Based Strategic Deterrent Systems Directorate is principally located at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, with operating locations across the nation, including at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming; Malmstrom AFB, Montana; Minot AFB, North Dakota; and Vandenberg AFB, California. It is responsible for modernizing or replacing Minuteman III flight systems, weapon system command and control, and launch systems, including missile silos, control centers, and other ground infrastructure. The directorate is also responsible for the Mark 21A Reentry Vehicle and Fuze Modernization programs, which will upgrade the weapon’s reentry system. The directorate is accountable for the total life cycle of the GBSD weapon system.
Minuteman III Systems Directorate
The Minuteman III Systems Directorate is principally located at Hill AFB, Utah, with operating locations at F.E. Warren AFB, Malmstrom AFB, Minot AFB and Vandenberg AFB. It is responsible for inception-to-retirement integrated management of the LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile system, our nation’s current backbone for nuclear deterrence. It develops, acquires and supports the continued operational viability of the silo-based Minuteman III, and provides program direction and logistics support to AFGSC, the nation’s primary nuclear warfighter. It is responsible for acquisition, systems engineering and depot repair for all aspects of the weapon system. It works with supply chain management and depot repair centers to manage system spares, provide storage and transportation, and accomplish modifications or equipment replacement to sustain the Minuteman III.
Nuclear Command, Control and Communications Integration Directorate
The Nuclear Command, Control and Communications Integration Directorate is principally located at Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts, and Kirtland AFB. It includes personnel at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana; Fort Meade, Maryland; Los Angeles AFB, California; Hill AFB; Robins AFB; Tinker AFB; and Wright-Patterson AFB. It is responsible for integrating the AN/USQ.225 NC3 Weapon System across the Air Force. The directorate advises AFGSC on the NC3 Weapon System's technical architecture and informs key decisions regarding investment and modernization. The directorate is also responsible for the weapon system’s configuration management, system test, system verification, and system certification. In addition, its director is dual-hatted as the Air Force PEO for NC3.
Nuclear Technology and Integration Directorate
The Nuclear Technology and Integration Directorate is principally located at Kirtland AFB. It is responsible for providing intelligence support to AFNWC, analyzing the full spectrum of weapons effects to support acquisition programs and inform tactics and procedures, and assessing current and future nuclear systems to identify and mitigate potential vulnerabilities. The directorate is also responsible for managing the Air Force's Nuclear Certification Program and leading the capability development initiatives for all pre-Milestone A/B activities within the center.
(Current as of October 2021)