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News > Commentary - Continuing to strengthen the nuclear enterprise
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force
Chief Master Sgt. James A. Roy, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force (U.S. Air Force photo by Jim Varhegyi)
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Continuing to strengthen the nuclear enterprise

Posted 6/10/2010   Updated 6/10/2010 Email story   Print story


Commentary by Chief Master Sgt. James A. Roy
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force

6/10/2010 - WASHINGTON -- At the top of the list of Air Force priorities is continuing to strengthen the nuclear enterprise. Over the past few months, I've had the opportunity to meet some nuclear enterprise warriors at places like F.E. Warren, Minot and Kirtland Air Force Bases.

For Airmen not in the nuclear enterprise, it is an eye-opening experience to visit these locations. These Airmen have unique working conditions, like driving for hours on end to reach their remote duty locations, stringent security checks just to enter work and a rigorous inspection schedule. They also have the added responsibility of making sure they are certified to work in the nuclear enterprise through the Personnel Reliability Program, which requires demonstrated reliability and professional competence. Any loss of reliability could result in them losing their opportunity to work in the nuclear enterprise.

However, the most demanding challenge is the need for perfection.

Airmen have been providing strategic deterrent for more than 50 years. They have shown that perfection is not only achievable, it's the standard. This precision requires nuclear Airmen to follow checklists and technical orders to document deficiencies in day-to-day activities or through the inspection process. Precision must be the standard because these are the most powerful weapons in our nation's arsenal.

It is clear there's an individual responsibility for mission success. These Airmen's missions don't dominate the news like the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. They go about their mission every day in a quiet, professional manner, just like the Airmen before them, in support of the nuclear deterrence mission.

Our nuclear enterprise provides an umbrella of security for both the U.S. and many of our strategic partner nation countries. Providing that strategic deterrent requires a sustained level of competence to make sure the nuclear arsenal is safe and secure.

There's no room for error in their mission. Any error could affect the safety, security or effectiveness of the nuclear arsenal. We owe a debt of gratitude to these warriors who provide security for us every day.

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