Senate Bill Mandates Study of Nuclear-Arms Storage Sites

A B-61 bomb is doused in water during a 2009 Mass Accident Response Exercise at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. A draft Senate defense appropriations bill would require the Air Force to submit a plan for modernizing its nuclear-weapon storage areas.
National Journal
Rachel Oswald
Add to Briefcase
Rachel Oswald
July 21, 2014, 10:36 a.m.

Sen­ate ap­pro­pri­at­ors last week ap­proved a bill that would re­quire the Pentagon to study how to mod­ern­ize fa­cil­it­ies stor­ing U.S. nuc­le­ar war­heads.

Lan­guage in­ser­ted by Sen­at­or Mary Landrieu (D-La.) dur­ing a com­mit­tee mark-up of the fisc­al 2015 de­fense ap­pro­pri­ations le­gis­la­tion would give the Air Force three months to de­vel­op a com­pre­hens­ive plan for up­dat­ing its five war­head stor­age sites, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from the law­maker’s of­fice.

The five Air Force sites presently au­thor­ized to house nuc­le­ar arms are Minot Air Force Base, N.D.; Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.; F.E. War­ren Air Force Base, Wyo.; White­man Air Force Base, Mo.; and Kirt­land Air Force Base, N.M., ac­cord­ing to Hans Kristensen, dir­ect­or of the Fed­er­a­tion of Amer­ic­an Sci­ent­ists’ Nuc­le­ar In­form­a­tion Pro­ject.

Landrieu is par­tic­u­larly fo­cused on see­ing the Barks­dale Air Force Base’s con­ven­tion­al-mu­ni­tions stor­age area up­graded to handle nuc­le­ar arms, as it once did in the past. Presently, B-52 bombers based at Barks­dale, headquar­ters of Air Force Glob­al Strike Com­mand, must fly to oth­er bases to be loaded with atom­ic weapons.

Barks­dale is second-in-line on the Air Force’s list of weapon stor­age areas slated to re­ceive an up­grade, ac­cord­ing to the press re­lease. Landrieu’s amend­ment would re­quire the Air Force to ex­plain its ra­tionale for pri­or­it­iz­ing which stor­age sites get up­grades.

“I’m proud to lead the ef­forts of our del­eg­a­tion to en­sure that the Glob­al Strike Com­mand and Barks­dale Air Force Base re­ceive the at­ten­tion they de­serve. Mod­ern­iz­ing the nuc­le­ar weapons stor­age area at Barks­dale will give our mil­it­ary the broad and deep reach it needs to pro­tect our na­tion and provide sta­bil­ity for our al­lies across the world,” Landrieu said in re­leased com­ments.

The de­fense ap­pro­pri­ations bill now awaits con­sid­er­a­tion by the full Sen­ate.

The Louisi­ana law­maker’s of­fice told the Shreve­port Times it would cost ap­prox­im­ately $300 mil­lion and take sev­er­al years to re­store Barks­dale’s nuc­le­ar weapons-hold­ing cap­ab­il­ity.

Landrieu also voiced sup­port for see­ing the head of Glob­al Strike Com­mand el­ev­ated to a four-star po­s­i­tion, as is planned by the Air Force.

What We're Following See More »
ORDER REMAINS BLOCKED
Federal Appeals Court Upholds Ruling Against Travel Ban
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals "has upheld the nationwide block of President Donald Trump's executive order restricting travel from several predominantly Muslim countries. ... It upholds the suspension of a revised version of the executive order that the Trump administration crafted to better hold up to legal scrutiny than an earlier version."

Source:
APPEALS COURT IN VIRGINIA
Court Upholds Block On Travel Ban
2 hours ago
BREAKING
CITES CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Lieberman Withdraws from Consideration for FBI Job
2 hours ago
THE LATEST
CHINA OBJECTS
U.S. Destroyer Sails Close to Artificial Chinese Island
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

A Navy destroyer sailed within 12 miles of an artificial island built by China in the South China Sea, one of several such islands at the center of territorial disputes with other nearby nations. The U.S. called it a "freedom of navigation exercise." Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang "said China had lodged stern representations to the U.S over the patrol and that such moves were not conducive to peace and stability in the South China Sea."

Source:
MINIMUM 2 PERCENT GDP
Trump Tells NATO Countries To Pay Up
5 hours ago
BREAKING
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login