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Senior Leader Perspective on the Air Force Nuclear Enterprise: Todays Issues and the Future

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Technical Report

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Air Force Institute of Technology WPAFB United States

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The Air Force Nuclear Enterprise has undergone a period of great turmoil following the end of the Cold War. Failures within the Nuclear Enterprise necessitated a number of changes to manpower, funding, and core mission. In the wake of these incidents, senior leaders in the nuclear enterprise have reaffirmed its importance and have instituted changes to strengthen the enterprise. Some of the changes were more successful than others. In an attempt to better understand the current and future state of the nuclear enterprise, this research sought to answer the overarching research question How do senior leaders perceive the challenges facing the nuclear enterprise today and in the future This study consists of semi-structured interviews with senior leaders in the nuclear enterprise, to include leaders from Headquarters Air Force, United States Strategic Command, Air Force Global Strike Command, National Nuclear Security Administration, Air Force Nuclear Weapon Center, and national laboratories. Through these interviews, each senior leader offers what they think are the issues facing the nuclear enterprise and what the Air Force can do to correct the identified issues. Each leaders ideas are compared and contrasted to the others to determine the commonalities.

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