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U.S. Strategic Command Transforming, Decentralizing
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2005 – Along with the rest of the military, the U.S. Strategic Command has been transforming. The transformation has incorporated old missions, added new ones and worked to make the command more flexible and agile for the 21st century.

STRATCOM, as it is called, has its headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Neb. The command maintains the U.S. nuclear deterrent. But since changes in the unified command plan in 2002, it has gained a number of new missions.

These new missions called for the command to make fundamental changes in the way it has conducted business, said Army Maj. Gen. Kevin Campbell, the command's chief of staff.

In 2002, the command received four additional missions: missile defense; global strike; information operations; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The command retained, of course, the nuclear-deterrence mission. Officials added another mission - combating weapons of mass destruction - last year.

"Those missions, by and large, were about planning, coordinating and integrating," Campbell said. "Execution is when directed - especially for global strike."

Since Pentagon leaders announced the changes in 2002, command officials have been doing the legwork on "developing the concepts for how we thought we would do these missions," Campbell said.

One aspect was to develop a new entity in the command - joint-force component commands. These commands are a new construct and direction for STRATCOM, Campbell said. The nuclear mission will remain at the headquarters, but the component commands have migrated.

Campbell said the command has worked out a concept of operations that cuts across the command and has included input from the other combatant commands. "We're not at goal, yet but we have about a 60 percent (solution)," he said. The general said there is consensus on "how we do these missions, internally to STRATCOM and externally with the other combatant commanders."

Campbell said the command has established four joint-force component commands to take on missile defense; space and global strike; network warfare; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

The component commander for integrated missile defense is Army Lt. Gen. Larry J. Dodgen, who also commands Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Colorado Springs, Colo.

The space and global strike component is commanded by Air Force Lt. Gen. Bruce Carlson, 8th Air Force commander, at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden, director of the National Security Agency, commands the network warfare component. NSA is based at Fort Meade, Md.

The component commander for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance is Navy Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, headquartered at the Pentagon.

Campbell said it is important for people to remember that it "is not the director of DIA or the director of NSA that is in command of the JFCCs. These are separate and distinct hats that those gents wear for us."

The command still is working on the combating weapons of mass destruction mission and officials expect a decision sometime this month, Campbell said.

And STRATCOM still is working with the various component commanders in standing up the new organizations. Campbell said the parent command is scrubbing the lists to give the component commands joint billets. "The only source for the billets was Headquarters, Strategic Command," he said. "We've gone through a series of boards to identify requirements."

He said that in the end, the command's headquarters will be much smaller than the more than 2,000 members of the staff now in Omaha. And the reduction will force the command to think differently. The nuclear mission, again, will remain unchanged and at the headquarters. But the command does not have the personnel to do that in the other areas, Campbell explained.

The general said this new organization also will force a cultural change. "We were an organization like an automobile factory, in that you placed raw materials in one end and out the other end pops a car," he said. "We were used to that, be it plans or whatever. The changing culture is you have to let go of one rope and grab on to another," he said. "(There) may be a period where you don't have your hands firmly on either of the ropes."

He said he believes taking the manpower positions out of the headquarters forces the issue. "You have to decentralize," he said.

The new construct creates bridges between the agency world and the combatant command world. "That was our vision, to see if we could better tap the resources that we need to do our ... jobs," he said.

Using NSA and DIA as an example, he said the directors of the agencies deal in those worlds every day. "Who better to serve as an interface for you than that person?" he asked. "They already have the contacts."

Maj. Gen. Kevin T. Campbell, USA

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U.S. Strategic Command