Focusing on the future

  • Published
  • By Stefan Bocchino
  • 377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
AFNWC commander outlines plans for center

"Keeping America safe and preparing for its ultimate defense is a team effort."

-- Brig. Gen. Garrett Harencak, AFNWC commander

After taking command of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, Brig. Gen. Garrett Harencak is looking toward the future.

"I would like to continue to strengthen the role of the AFNWC in America's nuclear enterprise," said General Harencak. "I hope to make all things nuclear come through us in a collaborative way."

General Harencak also said he would like to build solid relationships with all of the many mission partners.

"Keeping America safe and preparing for its ultimate defense is a team effort," said General Harencak. "There are many organizations around DoD that help. They include the Department of Energy and the United States Navy, obviously, but everybody has a role."

He said another area he would like to see the AFNWC make inroads in is in recruiting the best and the brightest into the nuclear enterprise.

"I think for too long, there's been a feeling that the nuclear field, even the commercial nuclear fields, that there's not much of a future there," he said. "I don't think they could be any more mistaken. There's an opportunity for a very long, successful and satisfying career defending America, in the nuclear enterprise."

The general also touched on his vision for the AFNWC. He said that though the United States has the most technologically advanced weapons systems in the world, hardware is only one piece of the puzzle.

"We always have to remember that you can have great equipment, but it's useless unless you have great people working, sustaining and operating that equipment," said General Harencak. "The greatest weapons system we have is our people."

When General Harencak took command of the AFNWC, on Jan. 20, it was declared at Full Operational Capacity by General Donald Hoffman, Air Force Materiel Command commander.

"Now that we are FOC, I want us to be the center of excellence," said the general. "I want us to be the nucleus of our nation's deterrence. If you think about it, we are central to our Air Force's and our nation's deterrent, and all other parts are grouped with us around that. It's a basis for future development and growth."

In looking to the future, the general said he sees the AFNWC strengthening AFMC's and its own role in the nuclear enterprise.

"I see us building on the legacy of the last few years, which has just been phenomenal," said General Harencak. "We will continue to implement effective and efficient lifecycle management. We will continue to bring in good people. We will be good stewards of all our resources, specifically the resources related to the nuclear deterrent."

The general said that the number one priority for the AFNWC is nuclear surety.

"We need to make sure that we always deliver for the warfighter, and that the Air Force continues to be the pre-eminent technological force for good," said General Harencak. "It's a distinct honor and privilege to serve with the incredible professionals we have here at the AFNWC and at Team Kirtland. I am incredibly pumped up and optimistic that we're going to meet all challenges head on, and we're going to overcome them together."