Title: A New Era: From SAC to STRATCOM

Author: Major Jon M. Fontenot, United States Air Force

23 May 1995

Thesis: With the end of the cold war, is there a need for the United States Strategic Command?

Background: The Strategic Air Command (SAC) was created on March 21, 1946 and assigned the mission of deterring aggression through "long range offensive operations in any part of the world" and "maximum range reconnaissance over land or sea". During the first year, SAC's personnel loss was 63 percent and aircraft loss was 78 percent; the losses were due to the demobilization after World War II. But during the next two years, SAC's personnel and aircraft gains helped establish the command. When General Curtis E. LeMay became SAC's third commander, the morale in the command was low. But General LeMay would change the attitude in the command and make the command one of the elite places to work. During his tenure (almost nine years), General LeMay instituted a strenuous training program to make all units combat ready. SAC was very good at its job, but unexpectedly the threat was over--the Warsaw Pact was gone, the Berlin Wall fell, and the Soviet Union dissolved into independent states. General Butler was the chief architect with dissolving SAC and the start-up of the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM). He worked very closely with General Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on the roles and missions and structure of STRATCOM. The only question was when would the change take place. STRATCOM took over the same mission of SAC, but with one twist. STRATCOM has authority over all nuclear weapons. The future for STRATCOM depends on two items: the Nuclear Posture Review and the restructure of the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP). The Nuclear Posture Review is a comprehensive look at the nations nuclear weapons and how the nation employs them. While SIOP is the means to employ the weapons, the planning takes 18 months. STRATCOM knew this was too long and developed a plan to reduce the time from 18 to 6 months (adaptive force planning).

Recommendation: STRATCOM is still needed to deter other nations from using or procuring nuclear weapons, but DoD must continue reviewing our the nation's need for STRATCOM and nuclear weapons.




Thesis: With the end of the cold war, is there a need for the United States Strategic Command?

I. History of the Strategic Air Command

A. Origin

B. Weapon Systems

C. Role in World Conflicts

II. SAC to United States Strategic Command

A. Changing World Climate

B. Origin

C. Mission

D. Centralized Command Structure

III. United States Strategic Command's Future

A. Nuclear Posture Review

B. Re-engineering the Nuclear War Plan



From 1946 to 1992, our nation depended on the Strategic Air Command (SAC) to conduct long-range nuclear attacks on the former Soviet Union, if ordered. The world had to live with the threat of a nuclear holocaust like a dark cloud, threatening the extinction of all mankind. SAC was the command held responsible for keeping that cloudburst from exploding. But with the end of the Cold War, SAC's nuclear deterrence mission was still needed, though less urgent. During this time, all the services were reviewing their role and missions and going through a very difficult personnel drawdown. So a dramatic change took place June 1, 1992, with the restructuring of the Strategic Air Command to the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM). Placing our nuclear forces under one commander makes sense. Not only do you have one voice on all strategic nuclear planning and weapons, but you improve efficiency and delete duplication.(1) The improved efficiency is in planning and execution in case of a nuclear war and consolidating requirements for nuclear policy. In examining why STRATCOM is needed and its future, one must first look at SAC's history.

SAC's History

The Strategic Air Command traces its origins back to World War II. The bombers and fighters of the Eight Air Force and Fifteenth Air Force in Europe and the Twentieth Air Force in the Pacific were part of the overall strategic air arm helping defeat Germany and Japan, but the most important bomber missions were the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. H. H. (Hap) Arnold, the Air Force's first Chief of Staff, declared: "The influence of atomic energy on air power can be stated very simply. It has made air power all-important." After the war in an effort to keep strategic bomber superiority, USAAF created SAC.(2)

SAC was created along with two other major air commands: the Air Defense Command and the Tactical Air Command on March 21, 1946. SAC's original mission statement was given by General Carl Spaatz:

The Strategic Air Command will be prepared to conduct long range offensive operations in any part of the world either independently or in cooperations with land and naval forces: ...to provide combat units capable of intense and sustained combat operations employing the latest and most advanced weapons...[and] to train units and personnel for the maintenance of the strategic forces in all parts of the world.(3)

Primarily, SAC was the nation's long range strike force, deterring nuclear war through strict readiness and supporting other operations by maintaining heavy bombers for conventional bombing.(4) General George C. Kenney was the first commander and given the order to assemble SAC with 100,000 personnel and 1,300 aircraft, which included B-29 bombers, nine heavy bomb groups, two fighter groups, one reconnaissance wing and one air transport unit. There were 18 active bases in the continental U.S.(5) SAC's headquarters at this time was at Andrews Air Force

Base (AFB), Maryland.

1948 was a significant year for the new command. Their headquarters moved to Offutt AFB, Nebraska and the new commander was General Curtis E. LeMay who served the longest of any U.S. military force commander (19 October 1948 to 30 June 1957). During his SAC tenure, personnel grew from over 49,000 to over 224,000; SAC bases went from 21 CONUS to 38 CONUS and 30 overseas; and SAC started to receive an increasingly larger portion of the defense budget. With the introduction of KC-135 tankers, who provided in-flight refueling, bombers could strike anywhere in the world. Gen. LeMay was instrumental in procuring the B-47 and B-52 force which were sustained by KC-97 and KC-135 tankers.(6)

SAC's third commander was General Thomas S. Power and was responsible for initiating bomber ground alert. The ground alert concept was to maintain approximately one-third of its aircraft on the ground, weapons loaded, and crews prepared for immediate takeoff.(7) The alert concept was a result of world conditions at the time. The Soviet Union's move towards advanced technology and tense relations with Stalin made immediate retaliatory strike force a necessity.

Under Power's command, SAC adopted the slogan "Peace Is Our Profession".(8) This slogan can be viewed as a result of SAC's underlying position: nuclear war was considered a final act. By maintaining alert crews and planes loaded with weapons, the U.S. was dispatching a message to the Soviet Union and other hostile countries.

SAC wanted their presence felt all over the world. SAC reached its personnel zenith of over 282,000 and operations and maintenance budget of over $750 million.(9) During the 1950s, SAC received 47 percent of the U.S. military budget. Jerry Miller, Vice Admiral (retired), stated, "Back in those days, it was SAC against the Navy and the Tactical Air Command. SAC had all the money. The best thing you could do was get assigned to a SAC base. They had everything."(10) The reasons were simple: (1) SAC was the nations deterrent against the Soviet aggression, (2) SAC had two-thirds of the nuclear triad (B-52 bombers and ICBMs), and (3) SAC had the only strategic war planning system to build the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP).

From 1964 to 1973, SAC's B-52s, KC-135s, and reconnaissance aircraft flew thousands of bombing, air refueling, and reconnaissance missions in Southeast Asia. SAC forces helped defeat the 1968 North Vietnamese siege of Khe Sanh and blunted the enemy's 1972 spring offensive. With the Linebacker II campaign in December 1972, SAC played a key role in forcing North Vietnam back to the peace tables. Although the bomber's mission was tactical at first, by June 1966, B-52s were dropping 8,000 tons monthly and becoming a strong strategic force in the war against the Viet Cong.(11)

SAC's B-52s conventional capability was used instead of their primary mission of nuclear bombing during the Gulf War. During Desert Storm, one B-52 could deliver fifty 750-pound bombs of high explosives that shattered buildings and strategic targets. Ensuring the bombers could reach their targets, the KC-10 and KC-135 provided the aerial refueling support while stationed throughout Saudi Arabia and bordering countries, as the "gas station in the air" for coalition aircraft.(12) The

KC-135 also was used to move high priority cargo from CONUS to the Kuwaiti Theater of Operations. Also, SAC's U-2, TR-1 and RC-135 aircraft helped Gen. Schwarzkopf see and shape the battlefield. This shift from nuclear to conventional use of bombers is not new. With the emergence of third-world countries and their fight for independence, our defense policy makers and military leaders see world powers shifting from a less likely global nuclear war to a regional, conventional conflict.(13) Our forces and warfighting capabilities must reflect current conditions. Again the role of SAC's aircraft during any conflict proved critical: Their aircraft provided the strategic bombing, while the tankers provided the aerial refueling support for strategic and tactical aircraft. If SAC was so successful at its missions, why was the Strategic Air Command disestablished and a new command called United States Strategic Command created? The answer lies in the changing world climates and the role of the super powers.


The world political environment during the Cold War was fairly stable. SAC's operational planning capability was tailored for the Cold War. But, with the U.S.S.R. dissolving into independent states and nuclear arms reduction pacts signed, SAC's purpose was no longer essential. Even General Butler, Commander-in-Chief of SAC, had questions how long SAC could endure.(14) When the Conventional Forces in Europe agreement was signed, this was a signal to the end of the Cold War and SAC; however, when President Bush ordered bombers, tankers, and missiles off alert in September 1991--SAC was history.(15) No longer would B-52s and KC-135s sit on alert year in and year out; no longer would the EC-135 "Looking Glass" continue 24 hour airborne alert; no longer would the intercontinental ballistic missiles be targeted at the U.S.S.R. After 46 years of protecting the nation from U.S.S.R. aggression, SAC was out and a new strategic command was needed. Deterrence is not an Air Force mission, General McPeak, Air Force Chief of Staff stated. "For the nation, deterrence is a joint mission, requiring a joint command."(16)

Placing the nation's nuclear war planning under one command, as STRATCOM, was not new. General Curtis LeMay proposed the same idea in 1959, but Gen. LeMay ran into opposition from the United States Navy. The Navy could not envision a USAF command controlling their nuclear missile carrying submarines. The dispute goes back to the USAF B-36 versus the USN super carrier agreements.(17) Instead of having our nuclear weapons under one authority, the Department of Defense (DoD) settled for a compromise--the Joint Strategic Targeting Planning Staff (JSTPS). JSTPS was formed in 1960 and directed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Commander-in-Chief of SAC was designated the JSTPS director with a Navy Vice Admiral for vice-director. The JSTPS was a very large planning team of Air Force, Navy and Army personnel. SAC and the Navy got along well and there were enough of the triad of nuclear weapons to go around.(18) This was going to change due to the end of the Cold War and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties (START).

START I was a success story having been initially proposed in 1982 and signed in 1991, but the more significant START II almost did not occur. After signing START I in late 1991, the Soviet Union separated into the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Four of the CIS (Russia, Belarus, Kazkhstan, and Ukraine) controlled the former U.S.S.R.'s nuclear weapons. START I calls for the United States and the four CIS to reduce strategic missile warheads by 25 percent and ballistic missile warheads by 40 percent and 48 percent respectively.(19) With both sides making progress under START I, START II is the more significant treaty to complete the nuclear arms reductions.

START II was signed by President Bush and President Yeltsin in Moscow on January 3, 1993 and made dramatic changes in both nation's ballistic missile program. Multiple warheads are banned and strict limits on the number of warheads at sea were placed. Once the treaty is ratified by each nation, by 2003 the U.S. will have cut its nuclear warheads to 3,500 and the CIS to 3,000. A significant change from the Cold War period where over 75,000 tactical and strategic warheads were aimed at each other.(20)

It is no overstatement to say General Butler, the last CINCSAC and the first CINCSTRAT, started the process to disestablish SAC and create USSTRATCOM. While General Butler was Vice-Director of Strategic Plans and Policy, J-5, of the Joint staff (later director), he undertook secret negotiations with the Soviets directed by Admiral Crowe, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), in August 1988. Gen. Butler made several trips to the Soviet Union and saw the decay in the cities, current living conditions, and deteriorating military infrastructure. From his prospective, the Soviet Union was in a state of collapse. After long negotiations the U.S. and Soviets agreed in June 1989 to end the Cold War.(21)

General Powell was now the new CJCS and Gen. Butler recognized that the Chairmen and his Joint Planners needed to be on the same course. Gen. Butler laid it out straight:

General [Powell], I think the Cold War is over. We are about to see a sweeping transformation of the international security environment. That is...for you to take the United States Armed Forces down an entirely new path,...[involving] sharp reductions, a revision of roles and missions...(22)

General Powell's reply was, "I wholeheartedly agree and let me lay out for you some of the details."(23) General Butler went through a four step process: (1) paradigm changes on planning and programming against the former Soviet Union, (2) new "base force" concept, (3) total rewrite of NATO strategy and force structure, and (4) revision of the National Military Strategy.(24) General Butler was responsible for Minuteman II force deactivation, B-52G retirement to the bone yard, taking 75 percent of tankers out of inventory and the accompanying draw down of SAC personnel.

Gen. Butler took command of SAC on January 25, 1991 and probably knew he was the last CINCSAC, but was unsure of the timetable for forming STRATCOM. The transformation did develop sooner than most anticipated. During this time period with the Cold War over, budget constraints, the CJCS setting the stage for STRATCOM as early as the summer of 1992, and the survival of SAC's aerial assets to the budget, General Butler came to the same conclusion--time to deactivate SAC.(25)

When I added one, two, three and four I got zero; time to deactivate SAC. Step aside, let the Air Force reorganize and create the conditions for a transition to STRATCOM without having to worry about where SAC might fit.(26)

On June 1, 1992, three ceremonies occurred: the stand up of Air Combat Command (ACC), Air Mobility Command (AMC), and the United States Strategic Command and the stand down of Tactical Air Command, Military Airlift Command, and Strategic Air Command. ACC and AMC are USAF major commands while STRATCOM is a unified command.(27) STRATCOM, located at Offutt AFB in Nebraska, is the only unified command having a unique combatant command authority. It has sole authority over nuclear forces: missiles and submarines, bombers, tankers, and airborne command posts.(28)

STRATCOM's Mission

STRATCOM's mission is to deter a major military attack on the United States and its allies, and should deterrence fail, employ strategic forces. Their command goals are to: (a) establish USSTRATCOM as the leading authority on strategic matters, (b) develop capabilities and posture forces to meet strategic objectives, (c) develop force employment plans and STRATCOM's role in defense planning and system, (d) effectively employ assigned forces in strategic operations, and (e) maintain strong, cooperative relationships with other CINC's services and agencies.(29)

As directed by the National Command Authority, STRATCOM performs a wide variety of missions from posturing bombers, missiles and submarines to deter attack, to preparing the nation's nuclear war plan (the Single Integrated Operational Plan). STRATCOM conducts world-wide strategic reconnaissance, and maintains state-of-the-art command, control, and communications and intelligence support networks linking forces, which are ready to respond 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

STRATCOM is the key link between national strategy and nuclear forces. Creating this command improved the Defense Department's ability to deal with complex strategic nuclear weapon issues of the future. Placing all strategic forces under one command has improved efficiency and eliminated duplication. CINCSTRAT is responsible for integrating strategic nuclear policy, requirements planning, and operations across service lines. Whether in peace, war, or crisis, STRATCOM and its component commanders share a close working relationship (see figure above).(30)


William J. Perry, Secretary of Defense, agrees the U.S. must maintain our nuclear forces in sufficient size and capability.(31) But as the defense budget declines, personnel are reduced, and more bases are closed, what is the future of STRATCOM? For STRATCOM to survive in the 1990s and beyond, they must concentrate on the following: (1) nuclear posture review and (2) re-engineering the single integrated operational plan.

After ten months of discussion about how the U.S. should proceed with its nuclear weapons program, the U.S. has a new nuclear posture. The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), called "Lead but Hedge", is a two step process: (1) cuts in weapons and (2) slow the overall arms-reduction process.(32) The NPR was comprised of a joint military-civilian team reviewing policy, doctrine, force structure, command and control, operations, security, safety and arms control in a single review. The group worked closely with the Department of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Services, and the unified commanders. Defense Secretary William J. Perry stated, "the small but real danger [is that]...Russia might fail and a new government might arise hostile to the United States, still armed with 25,000 nuclear weapons."(33)

The U.S. will still keep the nuclear triad in tact for the next ten years. There was talk of eliminating 150 Minuteman ICBMs by the DoD, but this did not happen. The reason was the current turmoil in the former U.S.S.R. The U.S. will still keep the philosophy of "last resort" nuclear attack against our homeland and ruling out a move to a "no first use" policy.(34) If the U.S. adopted a "no first use" policy, this would send signals that the U.S. would absorb a first strike from an aggressor state. But if the U.S. did strike a country with nuclear weapons, we could face national suicide because of retaliation. So far the U.S. has destroyed 4,000 nuclear weapons since 1990 (approximately a third of the nuclear arsenal), while the former U.S.S.R. has reduced only 1,000 nuclear weapons.(35)

Ashton B. Carter, Assistant Secretary for Defense for International Security Affairs stated, "We wanted to show leadership in...eliminating nuclear weapons, but we didn't want to presume the outcome of history not yet written." He also surmised the United States position when he said, "We still believe in nuclear weapons in the United States, and in deterrence. We didn't ease that."(36) The U.S. wants to prove to her potential enemies that while cutting our nuclear stockpile, we still have the means to counter any threat presented in out direction.

For the Nuclear Policy Review, the whole future of the process was START. START I has each side cutting their nuclear delivery vehicles by 1,600 and accountable warheads to 6,000. START II allows multiple warheads atop submarine missiles but removed from ICBMs. What this means to the U.S. is 1,250 nuclear weapons carried on bombers, including 320 aboard the new B-2 bomber.(37)

For fiscal year 1996, the new force structure will look like this: (1) 450 to 500 single warhead Minuteman III ICBMs, (2) fourteen Ohio-class submarines fitted with 336 D5 missiles, and (3) twenty B-2s and sixty-six aging B-52s with air launched cruise missiles. All B-1Bs are assigned exclusively to the long-range conventional missions.

During the NPR proceeding, some members of Congress and the Pentagon expressed their desires to eliminate one or more legs of the triad (specifically the ICBM). STRATCOM strongly opposed this proposal because they have authority over strategic planning. In fact, Lieutenant General Arlen D. Jameson, USSTRATCOM's deputy commander in chief, said the NPR, revalidated the basic requirements for a triad of overlapping forces. He said, "that is something we at USSTRATCOM feel strongly about."(38)

Even though the U.S. is reducing their weapons stockpile, Russia is developing three new strategic weapon systems: (1) the SS-25, dubbed "Fat Boy", a single-war head road-mobile ICBM, (2) silo based SS-25 in existing SS-18 silos (all SS-18s are to be eliminated under START), and (3) a submarine-launched ballistic missile replacing existing SLBMs.(39) This is sending mix signals to our country. On the one hand Russia has signed both START agreements (to reduce their nuclear stockpile), then they want to develop new strategic weapon systems. This is due to the uncertainty in all four CIS countries and possibly the old way of thinking about nuclear weapons in military security.

General Jameson stated the NPR had produced policies that "walk a fine line" between arms reduction and force preservation. The structure has no fat, according to him, but the force structure is "adequate for us to carry out our responsibilities at this time. We believe this will be an adequate force level that provides us the flexibility...to deal with the real world uncertainties."(40)

The end of the Cold War has ironically compounded the planning challenge: prompting a wholesale review and reshaping of the associated processes.(41) During the Cold War, the nuclear war planning process in support of the United States' deterrent strategy followed a standard three-step paradigm: (1) national intelligence sources identified potential targets within the Soviet Union, (2) national policy guidance prioritized those targets, and (3) then the targets were matched against available forces. What has changed since the end of the Cold War is what happens in each of these steps.

The intelligence community can no longer focus on a predictable Soviet threat--rather they must shift to a global focus to identify a multitude of potential threats. National guidance has changed to account for the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union. And lastly, strategic force structure has diminished significantly. Resources simply do not exist to simultaneously cover every possible contingency. This means that STRATCOM can no longer rely on a fixed SIOP and take 18 months to build it as was the case during the Cold War. Instead, STRATCOM planners are working to develop an adaptive planning process that will offer the President a variety of options in response to any crisis. The goal is to provide viable options in less than 24 hours.

Because of this lengthy lead time, planners traditionally had three SIOPs being worked at any given time: one in the field, one about to be implemented, and the third in its initial stage. Nearly a year and a half of planning effort was required to produce each SIOP. During the Cold War, planners had the luxury of time to prepare a detailed SIOP because of the focused Soviet threat. However, the planners no longer have that luxury due to the changing world affairs.

Planning time is now at a premium for three reasons: (1) changed threats, (2) force structure reductions, and (3) increased planning requirements. The Soviet threat to the SIOP has disappeared. In its place, new threats have emerged including instability and residual nuclear capability within the republics of the former U.S.S.R., the rise of potentially hostile regional powers, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The world is changing so rapidly that a SIOP implemented tomorrow that was based on threats existing eighteen months ago would be obsolete the very minute it was placed into effect. Not only has the threat changed, but so has U.S. strategic force structure. The disengagement process including arms control and deposturing initiatives has significantly reduced U.S. strategic forces. Additionally, the current budget climate may necessitate additional reductions. Changes in force structure require STRATCOM planners to make rapid adjustments to existing plans because planning requirements have changed. In addition to the SIOP, the National Command Authority requires additional plans with equally high degrees of integration and accuracy. These additional plans can be built and placed on the shelf, or prepared, distributed, and executed within hours of the need arising. In response to rapidly changing events, the SIOP must now be developed in approximately six months instead of eighteen months.


During the height the Cold War, there was a definite need for SAC--strategic deterrence. SAC had two-thirds of the triad, but with the changing world events CINCSAC could not, in good conscious, keep selling the Congress the need for SAC. Instead, STRATCOM came into existence placing the nation's nuclear war planning under one command, and providing unified, centralized management of strategic planning and fighting. In the end, SAC's motto "Peace is Our Profession" worked: proof is no missile or bomber ever detonated. STRATCOM is marching to a new tune, but only time will tell if they can meet the demands of its former command. Thinking of who had the responsibility for SAC's demise and STRATCOM's vision, an Agatha Christie novel comes to mind, and the question is asked, "Who killed SAC?" The answer, [changing world affairs] and "The Butler did it!"(42)



Atlas, Terry and Drew, Christopher. "Cold War Still Guides U.S. Nuclear Policy." Chicago Tribune, 25 September 1994, Sec. C1.

Bird, Julie. "Torch is Passed." Air Force Times, 8 June 1992, 13.

. "Retiring Familiar Colors, Welcoming the New." Air Forces Times,

15 June 1992, 8.

Butler, George Lee, General. "Disestablishing SAC." Air Power History, The Journal of Air and Space History, vol. 40, no. 3 (Fall 1993): 3.

. "Group Reinvents War Planning System." STRATUS, 20 January 1994, 1.

Canan, James. "The New Order in Omaha." Air Force Magazine, March 1994, 28.

Cody, Edward. "Full-Service Fill-ups at Gas Tank in the Sky." Washington Post,

5 February 1991, Sec. A10.

Department of Defense. Annual Report to the President and the Congress. Washington, DC: GPO, 1995.

Gauger, Jeff. "After Four Historic Decades, SAC Follows Cold War into Sunset." Omaha World-Herald, 31 May 1992, Sec. A1.

Gertz, Bill. "The New Nuclear Policy: Lead but Hedge." Air Force Magazine, January 1995, 34.

. "New U.S. Nuclear Strategy Called Mutual Assured Safety; Policy Leads in Cuts, Hedges Against Russian Reversal." The Washington Times, 23 September 1994, Sec. A3.

Lippman, Thomas W. "START I Agreement Takes Effect Monday." Washington Post, 4 December 1994, Sec. A46.

Mrowca, Maryann. "Strategic Air Command is No More." Boston Globe,

26 May 1992, 3.

Pine, Art. "U.S. Won't Revamp Nuclear Arms Policy." Los Angeles Times, 23 September 1994, Sec. A7.

Polmar, Norman. Strategic Air Command. Maryland: Nautical and Aviation Publishing Company, 1979.

"SAC Stands Down." New York Times, 3 June 1992, Sec. A20.

Spaatz, Carl A., General. Letter, CG/AAF to CG/SAC, subject: Interim Mission,

12 March 1946.

USSTRATCOM Public Affairs. J020, Offutt Air Force Base, NE, 92-1.

Walte, Juan J. "Cold War-negotiated N-pact Officially Becomes the Law."

USA Today, 6 December 1994, Sec. 10A.

Yenne, Bill. SAC, A Primer of Modern Strategic Airpower. California: Presidio Press, 1985.

1. . The term strategic has different meanings today. Strategic during the 1950s through the 1980a meant the use of our bombers, ICBMs, or SLBMs. In the 1990s, strategic can define location or distance. For further information, see Captain Judy Graffis, USAF, "Strategic Use of Care", Air Power Journal, Special Edition 1994.

2. "SAC Stands Down," New York Times, 3 June 1992, Sec. A20.

3. Gen Carl A. Spaatz, letter, CG/AAF to CG/SAC, subject: Interim Mission, 12 March 1946.

4. For additional information on the role of the strategic bombers (e.g. B-52, B-1B, and B-2) in a conventional role, see Maj Jerry Dillon, "The Strategic Conventional Bomber," Command and Staff College, 1993.

5. Norman Polmar, Strategic Air Command (Maryland: Nautical and Aviation Publishing Company, 1979), 7.

6. Bill Yenne, SAC, a Primer of Modern Strategic Airpower (California: Presidio Press, 1985), 63-66.

7. Polmar, 49.

8. Polmar, 60. During an reenlistment drive in 1957, a status board was maintained to reflect the names of commanders who met the quota. The theme of the reenlistment drive was Maintaining Peace is Our Profession. When a painter could not find room to accommodate all of the words, project officers decided to omit the word "Maintaining" from the sign. Visiting Headquarters SAC, Colonel Charles T. Van Vliet, Eighth Air Force Director of Information, saw the sign and liked it. He took the idea back to Westover AFB and placed a large sign that read "Peace is Our Profession" at Westover's main gate.

9. Maryann Mrowca, "Strategic Air Command is No More," Boston Globe, 26 May 1992, 3.

10. Jeff Gauger, "After Four Historic Decades, SAC Follows Cold War into Sunset," Omaha World-Herald, 31 May 1992, Sec. A1.

11. Yenne, 86-119.

12. Edward Cody, "Full-Service Fill-ups at Gas Tank in the Sky," Washington Post, 5 February 1991, Sec. A10.

13. Julie Bird, "Torch is Passed," Air Force Times, 8 June 1992, 13.

14. James W. Canan, "The New Order in Omaha," Air Force Magazine, March 1994, 28.

15. Mrowca, 3.

16. Julie Bird, "Retiring Familiar Colors, Welcoming the New," Air Force Times, 15 June 1992, 8.

17. General George Lee Butler, USAF, "Disestablishing SAC," Air Power History, The Journal of Air and Space History, vol. 40, no. 3 (Fall 1993): 6.

18. Canan, 28.

19. Thomas W. Lippman, "START I Agreement Takes Effect Monday," Washington Post, 4 December 1994, Sec. A46.

20. Juan J. Walte, "Cold War-negotiated N-pact Officially Becomes the Law," USA Today, 6 December 1994, Sec. 10A.

21. General Butler, "Disestablishing SAC," 6-7.

22. General Butler, 7.

23. General Butler, 7.

24. General Butler, 7.

25. General Butler, 10.

26. General Butler, 10. The detailed outline on the deactivation of SAC and the stand-up of STRATCOM are still classified; I am presenting a very simplistic view on the chain of events.

27. Bird, "Retiring Familiar Colors, Welcoming the New," 8.

28. Canan, 28. The following are types of weapon systems STRATCOM has controll over during a nuclear crisis or war: missiles and submarines (ICBMs, Poseidon, and Trident SSBNs), bombers (B-1Bs, B-2s, and B-52s), tankers (KC-10s and KC-135s), and airborne command posts (Navy E-6 TACAMO (take charge and move out)), USAF E-4B National Emergency Airborne Command Post, and USAF EC-135 "Looking Glass" planes. The EC-135s are retiring and E-6 TACAMO is taking over.

29. USSTRATCOM Public Affairs, J020, Offutt AFB, NE.

30. USSTRATCOM Public Affairs, J020, Offutt Air Force

Base, NE, 92-1.

31. Department of Defense, Annual Report to the President and the Congress (Washington, DC: GPO, 1995), 163.

32. Bill Gertz, "The New Nuclear Policy: Lead but Hedge," Air Force Magazine, January 1995, 34. For further information on where STRATCOM is going with their targeting and plans for the new world see Barbara Starr, "Targeting Rethink May Lead to Non-nuclear STRATCOM Role," Jane's Defence Weekly, 22 May 1993, 19; Eric Schmitt, "Head of Nuclear Forces Plans For a New World," The New York Times, 25 February 1993, Sec. B7. "ICBM Proposal Resurrected," Air Force Times, 12 December 1994, 34.

33. Bill Gertz, "New U.S. Nuclear Strategy Called Mutual Assured Safety; Policy Leads in Cuts, Hedges Against Russian Reversal," The Washington Times, 23 September 1994, Sec. A3.

34. Art Pine, "U.S. Won't Revamp Nuclear Arms Policy," Los Angeles Times, 23 September 1994, Sec. A7.

35. Terry Atlas and Christopher Drew, "Cold War Still Guides U.S. Nuclear Policy," Chicago Tribune, 25 September 1994, Sec. C1.

36. Gertz, "The New Nuclear Policy: Lead but Hedge," 35.

37. Department of Defense, 163.

38. Gertz, "The New Nuclear Policy: Lead but Hedge," 36.

39. Gertz, 37.

40. Gertz, 37.

41. General Lee Butler, United States Air Force, "Group Reinvents War Planning System," STRATUS, 20 January 1994, 1. I was a on two the Course of Action teams at STRATCOM. I am also very familiar with the SIOP process, since I was in SAC for eleven and a half years and in STRATCOM (J6) for two and half years.

42. Canan, 27.