Gen. Stephen Wilson, vice chief of staff at the U.S. Air Force, has said the military service’s leaders believe the branch must have funding stability to provide airmen with equipment needed to modernize the nuclear triad.
He discussed the service branch’s plans to boost the nuclear triad’s flexibility, responsiveness, survivability and visibility at a Mitchell Institute-hosted breakfast event at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, the Air Force said Friday.
Wilson noted that the Air Force plans to replace ground-based strategic deterrent missiles with the Minuteman III and update long-range standoff missiles to make the system compatible with nuclear-capable bombers.
The service branch maintains two legs of the nuclear triad that includes aircraft designed to carry nuclear weapons; more than 400 intercontinental ballistic missiles; nearly 30,000 airmen; and 75 percent of the nuclear command, control and communications system built to connect the U.S. president with senior military leaders.
President Donald Trump’s proposed a $183 billion budget for the Air Force would cover procurement, operations and maintenance and research, development, testing and evaluation programs in fiscal 2018.