BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (AFNS) --
Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall visited Barksdale Air Force Base, Oct. 27 to meet with Air Force Global Strike Command leaders and visit with 2nd Bomb Wing Airmen.
Kendall discussed modernization efforts throughout the command with AFGSC senior leaders, receiving updates on B-52 engine upgrades, the B-21 Raider program, and the LGM-35A Sentinel missile program.
“The modernization programs you oversee at Air Force Global Strike Command move us forward, ensuring we improve our operational posture relative to our pacing challenge; China, China, China,” Kendall said. “I’ve been beating the drum about China’s military modernization for a long time, and you are at the forefront of the department’s efforts to counter the challenge.”
Following his briefings, Kendall conducted an All Call for AFGSC staff, where he discussed the seven Operational Imperatives, including defining the B-21 Long Range Strike Family-of-Systems. Kendall also provided perspective on the various security challenges unfolding globally and conveyed his gratitude to meet with the Global Strike team.
“I am glad to have the opportunity to speak with you today. As I travel, I’ve gotten to meet a lot of Airmen and Guardians, and nothing is more important to me than having informal conversations with the men and women who wear the Air or Space uniform,” he said. “It lets me know where we are succeeding in supporting our One Team—and where we have progress still to be made.”
Kendall highlighted some of the challenges faced by the command and the Air Force - aging and costly-to-maintain capital structure with average aircraft ages of approximately 30 years.
“However, no matter the challenge, the men and women of Air Force Global Strike command have met them head on,” he said. “Our senior leaders have spoken clearly on the importance of integrated deterrence. The systems entrusted to the Airmen of Global Strike Command are the source of strength which integrated deterrence is built upon—without you, there is no foundation for our national security structure.”
After concluding his all call, Kendall had lunch with Airmen from the 2nd Bomb Wing who directly support the nuclear deterrence mission day in and day out, toured a B-52 and visited with aircrew and maintainers who keep the bomber flying.
“Thank you for all that you do to keep our nation safe in unprecedented times,” Kendall said to the Airmen of Barksdale Air Force Base. “The drive and commitment you bring to your mission every day is exceptional.”