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David Goldfein: Air Force Seeking Commercial Space Tech for Nuclear Triad Operations

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Gen. David Goldfein

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said at a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event in Washington, D.C. that commercial space capabilities can improve nuclear triad operations, National Defense Magazine reported Wednesday.

Goldfein noted that commercial satellites and other low-Earth orbit technologies will provide nuclear command, control and communications operators with “resilient pathways to communicate” while enabling the Air Force to cut costs. He added that expanded access to smaller payloads and cheaper launch services has fostered more commercial opportunities for space missions.

“Whether it’s Silicon Valley or commercial space, there are unlimited opportunities ahead right now for us in terms of how we think differently on things like nuclear command-and-control,” he said. The Air Force handles the nuclear triad’s ground-based intercontinental ballistic missile and bomber force functions, while the Navy operates ballistic missile submarines for NC3 strategic deterrence activities.