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The Army in U.S. Strategic Command: Thinking Globally, Acting Jointly

December 1, 2006

When the Soviet Union collapsed, U.S. policymakers realized the Cold War-era defense posture would soon be obsolete. With nuclear-armed long-range bombers standing down from their alert status, the Air Force’s Strategic Air Command (SAC) became a part of American history. In its stead came a new unified command: United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM, or STRATCOM), established 1 June 1992. Headquartered in the old SAC headquarters building at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, STRATCOM became the element of the U.S. armed forces dedicated to monitoring global strategic threats and providing command and control capabilities and options, including nuclear strikes, to the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense. Moreover, in 2002 the U.S. Space Command was deactivated and its space mission assets were folded into STRATCOM, making it the chief unified command for both space operations and strategic threat management for the entire military. This was a significant shift; not only did STRATCOM acquire four previously unassigned mission areas—global strike, missile defense integration, information operations and C4ISR (command, control, computers, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance)—but it also took on the responsibility to determine force requirements as a supported unified combatant command