Fact Sheets

Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center

The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center is the nuclear-focused center within Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC). It synchronizes all aspects of nuclear materiel management on behalf of the AFMC commander in direct support of Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC). 

Established on March 31, 2006, and headquartered at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, the center has more than 2,000 military and civilian personnel assigned at 20 locations worldwide. It consists of five major execution directorates: Air Delivered Capabilities; Minuteman III Systems; Nuclear Command, Control and Communications (NC3) Integration; Nuclear Technology and Integration; and Sentinel Systems. It also has several functional directorates, and the AFNWC Commander is dual-hatted as the Air Force Program Executive Officer (PEO) for Strategic Systems. The PEO for Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles is also assigned to AFNWC.

Mission: Deliver nuclear capabilities warfighters use every day to deter and assure.
Vision: Ensuring our nation's most powerful weapon systems are never doubted, always feared.
Motto: "Never Doubted, Always Feared"
Strategic Goals:
  • Time-certain delivery of safe, secure, and effective capability to the warfighter.
    • Objective #1 – Improve readiness of currently-fielded systems in response to warfighter needs.
    • Objective #2 – Modernize, recapitalize, and evolve our nuclear deterrent capability to meet challenges of a dynamic threat environment and increasing the pace of technological change.
  • ​​Engrain a nuclear ethos that is both innovative and disciplined.
    • Objective #1 – Recruit, educate, train, develop, and retain nuclear professionals.
    • Objective #2 – Empower the workforce to evaluate and accept risk to improve mission accomplishment.

Major Organizations
Air Delivered Capabilities Directorate
This directorate is principally located at Kirtland AFB, with operating locations at Eglin AFB, Florida; Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; Ramstein AB, Germany; Robins AFB, Georgia; Tinker AFB, Oklahoma; and Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. It has positions for deputy program managers and product support managers for nuclear matters embedded in program offices for the B-2, B-21, B-52, F-15, F-16, F-35, and automatic test systems and support equipment. The directorate is responsible for delivering, sustaining and supporting air-delivered nuclear weapon systems for our warfighters to secure the future of our nation and our allies every day. Programs managed by the directorate include: B61-12 Life Extension Program and tail kit, Long Range Stand-Off Weapon, W80-4 Life Extension Program, overseas Weapon Storage and Security System, Secure Transportable Maintenance System, Protective Aircraft Shelter Interior Intrusion Detection System, and Air-Launched Cruise Missile (AGM-86B/C/D) sustainment.

Minuteman III Systems Directorate
This directorate is principally located at Hill AFB, Utah, with operating locations at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming; Malmstrom AFB, Montana; Minot AFB, North Dakota; and Vandenberg AFB, California. It is responsible for inception-to-retirement integrated management of the LGM 30-G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system, our nation’s current backbone for nuclear deterrence. It develops, acquires and supports the continued operational viability of the silo-based Minuteman III, and provides program direction and logistics support to AFGSC, the nation’s primary nuclear warfighter. It is responsible for acquisition, systems engineering and depot repair for all aspects of the weapon system. It works with supply chain management and depot repair centers to manage system spares, provide storage and transportation, and accomplish modifications or equipment replacement to sustain the Minuteman III.

Nuclear Command, Control and Communications Integration Directorate
This directorate is principally located at Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts, and Kirtland AFB. It includes personnel at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana; Los Angeles AFB, California; Offut AFB, Nebraska; Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado; Hill AFB; Robins AFB; Tinker AFB; and Wright-Patterson AFB. It is responsible for integrating the AN/USQ.225 NC3 Weapon System across the Air Force. The directorate advises AFGSC on the NC3 Weapon System's technical architecture and informs key decisions regarding investment and modernization. The directorate is also responsible for the weapon system’s configuration management, system test, system verification and system certification. In addition, its director is dual-hatted as the Air Force PEO for NC3.

Nuclear Technology and Integration Directorate
This directorate is principally located at Kirtland AFB. It is responsible for providing intelligence support to AFNWC, analyzing the full spectrum of weapons effects to support acquisition programs and inform tactics and procedures, and assessing current and future nuclear systems to identify and mitigate potential vulnerabilities. The directorate is also responsible for managing the Air Force's Nuclear Certification Program and leading the capability development initiatives for all pre-Milestone A/B activities within the center.

Sentinel Systems Directorate
This directorate is principally located at Hill AFB, Utah, with operating locations across the nation, including at F.E. Warren AFB; Malmstrom AFB; Minot AFB; Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; and Vandenberg AFB, California. The directorate is accountable for the total life cycle of the LGM-35A Sentinel weapon system, which will replace the LGM-30 Minuteman III. It is responsible for modernizing or replacing the LGM-30 Minuteman III flight systems, weapon system command and control, and launch systems, including missile silos, control centers, and other ground infrastructure. The directorate is also responsible for the Mark 21A Reentry Vehicle (RV), Fuze Modernization and Next-Generation RV programs, which will upgrade the Sentinel weapon’s reentry system. 

(Current as of January 2024)