"To deter military attack on the United States and its allies, and should deterrence fail, employ forces so as to accomplish national objectives.

--Mission statement, United States Strategic Command

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"Delivered hot and fresh to your door in 30 minutes or less, or the next one's free."

--Minuteman III Silo Officers' Unofficial Motto


USSTRATCOM is the military abbreviation for one of America's joint commands. Not surprisingly, the long form is "United States Strategic Command". It refers, variously, to the people who make up USSTRATCOM, the commander of USSTRATCOM, or the headquarters of USSTRATCOM. As for the people who make up USSTRATCOM's forces, their responsibilities include:

They (but more accurately the commander of USSTRATCOM, but ultimately the President) have control of all three legs of America's nuclear triad: ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bomber forces--mostly B-52s and B-2s. Before we ever had a triad, they were called SAC, and were featured prominently in Stanley Kubrick's film "Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb". SAC's headquarters was Offutt AFB, in Omaha, until June 1, 1992, when SAC ceased to exist; SAC became USSTRATCOM, and SAC headquarters became HQ:USSTRATCOM. Because USSTRATCOM is a joint command, they also have members in the Navy, Army, and Marines, as well as holdouts from the Air Force's SAC days, all of whom work in pefect harmony to ensure strategic stability. Which is to say, they plan out nuclear war like other people plan chess, and have a strategy for almost every possible eventuality involving the exchange of nuclear weapons. They would, like most of us, prefer that those plans go unused for perpetuity, but they keep them around and practice nuclear war on a regular basis, so they'll have their game face on "if or when."

Free public tours of USSTRATCOM's Command Center are available Tuesdays, Thursdays, and alternate Saturdays, and are quite cool. Honestly--when's the last time you got to see where Armageddon is going to start, and sit it the comfiest chairs your tax dollars can buy?


No, the WOPR is not there, and no, you can't dial in on a modem and play WarGames, and yes, that "30 minutes" quote is painted on the blast doors in a big mural. Any other questions?

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