Focus on Defense: Sustaining the nuclear triad

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OGDEN, Utah — The 2017 Focus on Defense Symposium was held June 21st at the Ogden Eccles Center and was co-hosted by the Air Force Sustainment Center and Utah Air Force Association.

This year’s theme was “Sustaining the Nuclear Triad.” The symposium featured top-tiered speakers who addressed how industry partners and government leaders view and respond to nuclear triad agile sustainment and life cycle logistics challenges in today’s environment.

Key messages included:

The importance of the nuclear triad – intercontinental ballistic missiles, bomber-launched missiles, and sea-launched missiles – and how these capabilities are well-beyond their original life expectancy and in need of replacement.

How the nuclear triad represents the backbone of U.S. national defense and is used daily to deter worldwide aggression.

All three legs of the triad are essential for maintaining a viable strategic defense posture, which has precluded any major, large-scale conflict for the past 72 years.

The projected replacement costs for all three legs of the triad; how the cost would represent a significant percentage of the Department of Defense’s projected budget; and how replacement is needed to keep pace with other nations that have been and are currently modernizing their nuclear arsenals.

The need for faster acquisition times and an expansion of the workforce to support this modernization is needed.

This year’s featured speakers were: Gen. Steven W. Wilson, Air Force vice chief of staff; Utah Governor Gary Herbert; Gen. Robin Rand, Air Force Global Strike Command commander; Vice Admiral Charles Richard, U.S. Strategic Command deputy commander; Whit Peters, former Secretary of the Air Force and AFA national chairman; Mat Joyce, vice president and general manager for Strategic and Missile

Defense, Lockheed Martin Space Systems; Jeffrey Grant, vice president and general manager of Space Systems, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems; and Jim Chilton, president of Network and Space Systems, The Boeing Company.

Each year, the Focus on Defense Symposium aims to bring Air Force and other DOD/industry leaders together to discuss important national defense-related topics. Nearly 400 military, civilian and defense industry partners attended this year’s symposium, which was co-hosted by the Air Force Sustainment Center and Utah Air Force Association.

Dr. Dave Hansen, this year’s Ogden Air Logistics Complex chair, attributed the success of this year’s symposium to great teamwork and the support of AFSC and AFA leadership, and thanked the many volunteers who helped coordinate the event.