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91st ARS welcomes AFGSC Striker Phoenix program officer

  • Published
  • By Capt. Payton Waters, 6th Medical Support Squadron

The nuclear triad is the United States and her allies’ unwavering blanket of security. 

The Air Force Global Strike Command is home to two thirds of the nuclear triad, including strategic bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Partner nations and allies around the world rely upon U.S. strategic bomber presence to deter threats against their sovereignty and ensure freedom of navigation. Global Strike relies upon Air Mobility Command’s fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers for air refueling during long-duration missions. 

War planning requires close coordination to achieve clear communication, integrated operations and continuity for flawless execution.

To assist in this joint planning effort, the 91st Air Refueling Squadron welcomed a member of AFGSC’s Striker Phoenix program in April, Capt. Spencer Mattausch, 6th Air Refueling Wing plans and programs officer, who joined the unit as their emergency action messaging trainer and emergency war order advisor for the next two years.

“I train, certify and modernize how the 91st Air Refueling Squadron prepares for nuclear generation, even though it’s just one aspect of their diverse mission set,” said Mattausch.

According to Mattausch, the AFGSC Striker Phoenix program was created in 2019 to support the professional development of nuclear operations company grade officers to prepare them for future leadership assignments.

"The program serves as an opportunity for participants to expand their joint strategic knowledge and leadership outside of their command’s nuclear operations focus," said Mattausch. "The very few officers selected for the program get the opportunity to venture outside of AFGSC and learn the day-to-day management of AMC's nuclear mission operations. Both commands benefit from this integrative experience in support of joint war planning objectives." 

“Mattausch’s contributions to the nuclear mission in AMC are exceptionally important as we strive to accelerate change in the nuclear triad enterprise to the new generation of Airmen,” said Lt. Col. Eric Wolf, chief of wing plans and programs. “Working with him is building relationships between AMC and AFGSC that will benefit our joint missions.”

The Striker Phoenix program is not only beneficial in professional development for the operators, but for the Air Force with officers returning to AFGSC with an insider view of exactly how an air refueling squadron operates. This program embodies the mantra, “One team, one fight,” that the Airmen of the Air Force live by every day.