Mark Esper: DoD Must Prioritize Nuclear Triad Modernization

Mark Esper
Mark Esper

Mark Esper, secretary of defense and 2020 Wash100 Award winner, emphasized the effort to update the U.S. strategic nuclear triad as part of the fiscal year 2021 defense budget request, DoD News reported Thursday. The Department of Defense requests $28.9 billion to modernize the country's nuclear defense, including the nuclear triad that consists of ground-launch missiles, bomber aircraft and submarine-launched missiles.

Secretary Esper visited Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to meet with officials and look at the site's nuclear assets. The 91st Missile Wing and the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot feature ground-launched nuclear missiles and B-52 bomber aircraft that are two of the three nuclear triad components.

"It provides that strategic nuclear deterrent that we depend on day after day — that we've depended on decade after decade," Esper said about the triad.

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