After a tumultuous 2014 that saw accusations of misconduct by missileers, new Global Strike Command leader Gen. Robin Rand says his airmen are looking ahead.
"We're moving forward," he said. "What I've seen are proud, motivated airmen who understand the calling of their profession. They are the best at what they do, and I'm honored to lead them."
Rand, who previously led Air Education and Training Command, took command at Global Strike in July. He came on board after the command had faced criticism for a string of high-profile accusations of misconduct, including a Pentagon investigation that found a group of officers were cheating on proficiency exams.
Indeed, Rand is the first four-star to command Global Strike since the end of the Cold War, a move widely regarded as an attempt to get the command back on its feet.
Now, Rand said he's focused on the mission ahead.
Chief among those issues will be tackling an aging nuclear arsenal, with bombers and missiles still in service more than 20 years after the end of the Cold War.
Rand said Global Strike initiatives include replacing support equipment in Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launch control centers, and looking for replacements for two support vehicle systems that carry missiles from bases to launch facilities.
In October, the command will take responsibility for a group of B-1 bombers from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas and Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota as part of a Pentagon effort to consolidate nuclear operations. And Global Strike will start overseeing the 377th Air Base Wing out of Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico and its Underground Munitions Storage Complex, the world's largest underground storage facility for nuclear weapons.
On the horizon is a new bomber designed to replace the B-52 and B-1, and eventually the B-2. The "strategic deterrence" the Long Range Strike-Bomber will provide will be "vitally important for the nation's defense," Rand said.