Battleland

Up in the Mushroom Clouds Somewhere, Curtis LeMay Is Smiling

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The directorate director at the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center Nuclear Capabilities Directorate’s Nuclear College has just announced he’s launched an advanced nuclear concepts course. (“Directorate director”? “Nuclear Weapons Center Nuclear Capabilities Directorate’s Nuclear College?” Department of Redundancy Department: your Defense Department of Defense at work.)

Meanwhile, back at the nuke school at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Colonel Clarence “CJ” Johnson has detailed a five-day course dubbed “Nuclear 300” that “explores nuclear deterrence theory and application, nuclear operations policy and strategy, nuclear incident response and nuclear surety and effects.” It’s part of the Air Force’s efforts to straighten up what it has started calling its “nuclear enterprise” following several years of rough sledding where nuclear weapons and components kept surprising Air Force folks by turning up where they weren’t expected.

The course is part of an expanded “PME for NE personnel” – that would be “professional military education for nuclear enterprise personnel” designed “to create a basic atmosphere of understanding for nuclear stewardship responsibilities.” It’s open to senior master sergeants and chiefs, field grade officers, Numbered Air Force, Major Command, Combatant Command and Headquarters Air Force staff officers, and major and lieutenant colonel squadron leaders.

“The Nuc 300 course material goes much deeper into foundational nuclear deterrence and nuclear operations policy issues than any other course at the college,” says Harold J. “Skip” Camacho, director of the Nuclear College. Battleland thinks that means that in order for nuclear deterrence to work, you have to hide your nuclear weapons from the enemy, and not from yourself.

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