New commander takes charge at AFNWC

  • Published
  • Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center
Brigadier Gen. John P. Newberry took command of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center in a ceremony here June 21. The Senate confirmed his promotion to major general on June 23.
He succeeds Maj. Gen. Anthony W. Genatempo, who took command of AFNWC in June 2020.
The center is responsible for synchronizing all aspects of nuclear materiel management on behalf of Air Force Materiel Command in direct support of Air Force Global Strike Command. Headquartered here, the center has about 1,900 military and civilian personnel assigned to 17 locations worldwide.
General Duke Z. Richardson, AFMC commander, presided over the change-of-command ceremony. Andrew Hunter, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, presided over the change in leadership for the Air Force program executive officer for strategic systems, which is a dual-hatted position for the AFNWC commander.
During the ceremony, Genatempo was presented with the Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility. During his tenure, “the peerless leadership, strategic innovation and extraordinary expertise of Gen. Genatempo inspired and enabled significant advancements to ensure that the land and air legs of the United States Strategic Nuclear Triad and Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications remain a credible deterrent today and decades into the future,” states the award citation.
Genatempo thanked the Airmen and civilians who work at AFNWC for their successes and accomplishments during his tenure.
“To say that two years has gone by in the blink of an eye is an understatement,” he said. “Your accomplishments cannot be overstated. I wish I could thank each of you personally.”
He also thanked other government and industry partners for their cooperation and assistance.
“Everyone I know and talk to understands the importance of AFNWC’s mission,” he said. “I hope the work we’ve accomplished will serve as the foundation of success for you, John, and those who come after.”
Richardson and Hunter both outlined some of the accomplishments of the AFNWC during Genatempo’s tenure, such as the transition of the LGM-35A Sentinel (formerly known as the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent) program from Milestone A to B in the DoD acquisition process.
“This particular transition is extremely important. The workload has been intense these past few years,” Richardson said. “When you lose somebody of [Genatempo’s] caliber, how do you backfill? Well, luckily, we have John Newberry.”
Newberry previously served as Air Force program executive officer for bombers and director of the Bombers Directorate at Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. During his career, he’s served in a variety of acquisition fields, including space test, flight test, systems engineering and major aircraft acquisition programs.
Richardson said Newberry’s wide range of experience will be beneficial to AFNWC.
Newberry said he was looking forward to working with AFNWC members on such a vital mission.
“The nuclear enterprise is such a tight-knit family, and it’s great to be joining that,” he said.
Newberry shared what he saw as two important components of nuclear deterrence: the technical capability to produce such weapons and the psychological capability to determine when, and if, such weapons will be used.
“Our mission is to leave no doubt that our nuclear capability is present today and will be tomorrow,” he said.