BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (AFNS) --
Gen. Thomas Bussiere assumed command of Air Force Global Strike Command during a ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base Dec. 7, becoming the newest leader of the organization responsible for the nation's only intercontinental ballistic missile and strategic bomber forces.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., presided over the ceremony.
“You provide strategic deterrence, global strike and combat support, so the Air Force can execute our mission to fly, fight and win. Airpower anytime, anywhere,” Brown said, speaking with AFGSC Airmen. “I am thankful for the continued professionalism of the 34,000 Global Strike Airmen who operate, sustain and secure two-thirds of the nation’s nuclear forces.”
With this change of command, Bussiere became the seventh commander of AFGSC. He is responsible for the nation’s fleet of Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, the land-based component of the nuclear triad. He is also responsible for all the nation’s strategic bombers, which include the nuclear-capable B-52H Stratofortress and B-2 Spirit, as well as the conventional-only B-1B Lancer.
Addressing an at-capacity crowd of Airmen, distinguished visitors, commanders and senior Air Force leaders at Barksdale AFB's historic Hoban Hall, Bussiere said, “Our mission is critical to our national defense, and you are critical to our national defense.
Every commander, chief, enlisted member, officer and civilian, it will take a whole team to compete and win,” he added. “We can’t do this without you.”
The general also spoke of the legacy of the command and its long history.
“Our proud legacy of long-range strike is in both NAFs (Numbered Air Force), and we continue to follow their footsteps as we position ourselves for a new era of strategic competition,” he said. The legacy and embodiment of long-range strike is right here in this command.”
Bussiere is a 1985 graduate of Air Force ROTC from Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. He has served in a variety of flying, staff and command assignments, including commander of Eighth Air Force at Barksdale AFB, and deputy commander of U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt AFB, Nebraska. He is a command pilot with more than 3,400 hours in the T-38 Talon, F-15C Eagle, B-2A Spirit, B-1B Lancer and F-22 Raptor. He led F-15C combat missions during Operations Southern Watch and Vigilant Warrior and B-2 combat missions during operations Allied Force and Iraqi Freedom.
“I am so humbled and proud to lead this historic command,” Bussiere said. “Strikers, you are the best in the world at what you do, and I know you will continue to do great things for our nation.”
Bussiere assumed command from Gen. Anthony Cotton, who is scheduled to take command of U.S. Strategic Command Dec. 9.