Strategic Air Command

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The Strategic Air Command (SAC) was both a Major Command (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force and a "specified command" of the United States Department of Defense. SAC was the operational establishment in charge of America's land-based strategic bomber aircraft and land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) strategic nuclear arsenal from 1946 to 1992. SAC also controlled the infrastructure necessary to support the strategic bomber and ICBM operations, such as aerial refueling tanker aircraft to refuel the bombers in flight, strategic reconnaissance aircraft, command post aircraft, and, until 1957, fighter escorts.

Following the fall of the Soviet Union, the Air Force instituted a comprehensive reorganization of its major commands. As part of this reorganization, SAC was disestablished as a MAJCOM on 1 June 1992.

As part of this reorganization, SAC's bomber aircraft, ICBMs, strategic reconnaissance aircraft, and command post aircraft were merged with USAF fighter and other tactical aircraft assets and reassigned to the newly-established Air Combat Command (ACC). This included those B-52 and B-1 bomber aircraft resident in the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard, respectively.

Concurrently, most of SAC's tanker aircraft, including those in the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard, were reassigned to the new Air Mobility Command (AMC). A select number of tankers in the Regular Air Force were reassigned to United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), while another cohort of Regular Air Force and Alaska Air National Guard tankers were reassigned to Pacific Air Forces (PACAF). The ICBM force was later transferred from ACC to the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) on or about 1994.

In 2009, the ICBM force was transferred again to the newly-established Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC). In 2010, the B-2 Spirit and B-52 Stratofortress bomber force was also reassigned to AFGSC, while the B-1 Lancer bomber force remained in ACC due to the latter's removal from the nuclear strike mission and reassignment to conventional roles only.[1]

United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), a joint/unified combatant command, now performs the primary mission once held by SAC, and is headquartered at SAC's former facilities at Offutt AFB, Nebraska.


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