The USAF put the nuclear-capable B-52Hs and B-2As bombers of the 8th Air Force and the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles of the 20th Air Force under the Global Strike Command in 2009. However, the de-nuclearized B-1B bombers stayed with the Air Combat Command's 12th Air Force. Such policy reconfigures the newly established Global Strike Command as a Bomber and Missile Command according to the author.
Hasik said that the consolidation of heavy bombers under the Global Strike Command will provide a single organizational home to all big bomber crews, including those of the forthcoming Long-Range Strike Bombers. "With that art of the possible emerging, the organizational heft of this new 'Bomber Command' may then spur some really new thinking, which the USAF genuinely needs for dealing with the mounting threat from China," Hasik said.
James Schlesinger, former deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, suggested the creation a single bomber command in a report to President Nixon in 1971, said General Mark Welsh, chief of staff of the USAAF. During the Cold War, the Strategic Air Command was responsible for command and control of the US military's land-based strategic bomber aircraft and ICBMs. However, it was not a unified bomber command.
A press release from the USAF said it is believed that a single commander can provide a unified voice to maintain high standards of training for penetrating and long-range combat missions. "It's not that a Fighter and Bomber and Everything Else Command can't do that; the thinking is simply that a single Bomber (and Missile) Command might do so better, and possibly by adding a literal dash of esprit de corps," the report said.
Unlike the Strategic Air Command, the nuclear mission will no longer dominate this newly established Bomber Command under the name of Global Strike Command. At the same time, the Long-Range Strategic Bomber may bring more combat capabilities than simply bombing targets. Like the F-35, they may be deployed as a flying frigates with reconnoitering, surveillance and bombing abilities. They could perhaps even be used to shoot down enemy fighters, Hasik said.
he United States Air Force (USAF) Boeing B-52 Stratofortress long-range, Subsonic strategic heavy bomber, North American Rockwell/Boeing B-1 Lancer Bone Supersonic heavy strategic bomber and Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit heavy stealth strategic bomber fly in formation.