Gen. Anthony Cotton has assumed leadership of Air Force Global Strike Command, becoming the sixth commander and first African American to lead the major command responsible for providing strike, combat and strategic deterrence support to U.S. geographic combatant commands.
He officially succeeded Gen. Timothy Ray as commander of AFGSC at a ceremony held at Barksdale AF Base in Louisiana, the command said Friday.
In his new capacity, Cotton will oversee the intercontinental ballistic missiles and strategic bombers force that includes the nuclear triad’s land-based component, Minuteman III ICBMs, being maintained by three missile wings and one Numbered Air Force daily.
He will also manage the nuclear-capable B-52H Stratofortress and B-2 Spirit, and the conventional-only B-1B Lancer, which altogether makes up the triad’s air-based leg.
In his first address as the commander, Cotton underscored the need to modernize the AFGSC nuclear portfolio, adopt new technologies and ensure the force’s sustainability.
“We need to innovate and collaborate. Not just with military industry and government but also with community partners to discuss quality of life, safety, education and social issues,” he said.
Cotton most recently served as deputy commander of both the AFGSC and Air Forces Strategic-Air at U.S. Strategic Command.