Strategic Air Command

(redirected from United States Strategic Air Command)

Strategic Air Command

(SAC), former command of the U.S. air force (see Air Force, United States Department of theAir Force, United States Department of the,
military department within the U.S. Dept. of Defense (see Defense, United States Department of). The Air Force traces its roots to the founding of the Aeronautical Division of the Army Signal Corps (1907), variously renamed before
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) charged with organizing, training, equipping, administering, and preparing strategic air forces for combat; it was headquartered at Offutt Air Force BaseOffutt Air Force Base,
U.S. military installation, 1,907 acres (772 hectares), E Neb., S of Omaha; est. 1896 as Fort Crook, an army base. Converted to an airbase in the early 1900s and renamed in 1924, it is the headquarters of the Strategic Command, the successor to the
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. From 1946 to 1992, SAC controlled most U.S. strategic nuclear weaponsnuclear weapons,
weapons of mass destruction powered by atomic, rather than chemical, processes. Nuclear weapons produce large explosions and hazardous radioactive byproducts by means of either nuclear fission or nuclear fusion.
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. Its bombers and guided missilesguided missile,
self-propelled, unmanned space or air vehicle carrying an explosive warhead. Its path can be adjusted during flight, either by automatic self-contained controls or remote human control. Guided missiles are powered either by rocket engines or by jet propulsion.
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 played a key role in the nuclear strategynuclear strategy,
a policy for the use of nuclear weapons. The first atomic bombs were used in the context of the Allies' World War II policy of strategic bombing. Early in the cold war, U.S.
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 of the cold warcold war,
term used to describe the shifting struggle for power and prestige between the Western powers and the Communist bloc from the end of World War II until 1989. Of worldwide proportions, the conflict was tacit in the ideological differences between communism and
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.

SAC was abolished in 1992 as part of the reorganization of the Department of Defense, and the Strategic Command was created. The former Space Command was merged into the Strategic Command in 2002. The interservice Strategic Command, also based at Offutt, now coordinates nuclear plans for both the U.S. air force and navy and oversees all U.S. nuclear forces and ballistic missile defense. A Cyber Command was established under the Strategic Command in 2008, and made a fully separate combatant command, focused on cyberspace, in 2017. A new Space Command, separate from the Strategic Command, was established in 2019 to oversee and conduct military space operations.

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