Whiteman Air Force Base near Knob Noster was passed over for the Nation’s Global Strike Command.
The Department of Defense has announced that the Air Force chose Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana as the single authority over all strategic operations forces assigned to the nuclear deterrence mission.
Whiteman was among six bases the Air Force was considering for the designation.
Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton, head of the House Armed Services Committee, issued a statement about the decision.
"I am very disappointed and I question the wisdom of the Air Force’s decision," he says. "To me, all of the selection criteria pointed toward Whiteman Air Force Base as the best choice for this new command. Whiteman Air Force Base also has an extraordinarily supportive local community, which has been very welcoming of proposals to bring new missions and commands to the base."
"It has long been my dream to make Whiteman Air Force Base one of America’s premier military installations, and I will continue to commit myself to this effort," Skelton says.
Although Barksdale has earned the designation, the decision is not official until an environmental impact analysis is completed, which is required under the National Environmental Policy Act.
In October 2008, the Air Force announced that a major command would be created to be the single authority over all strategic operational forces assigned to the nuclear deterrence mission. The service established a provisional global strike command headquarters at Bolling AFB, D.C, as an interim location for the command on Jan. 12.
On Jan. 21, Air Force officials announced the six potential candidate bases for the major command and began site surveys that concluded on March 6. The candidate bases were Barksdale AFB; F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.; Malmstrom AFB, Mont.; Minot AFB, N.D.; Offutt AFB, Neb.; and Whiteman AFB, Mo.
"All six candidate locations received a thorough evaluation in accordance with our basing process," said Kathleen I. Ferguson, the deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations. "Site survey teams used previously established criteria to gather information, assess capabilities, and refine initial data. This information was then evaluated during a Headquarters Air Force-level review to select a preferred alternative."
The selection of a preferred alternative was primarily based on an installation’s ability to provide significant nuclear mission synergy. Other criteria evaluated included facilities and infrastructure, support capacity, transportation and access, communications and bandwidth, and security to support the AFGSC headquarters.
Following the completion of the environmental impact analysis, Air Force officials intend to make a final base selection this summer.