CRANE — The U.S. Air Force may expand its dependence on Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane during this time of heightened awareness about nuclear threats, when sparring leaders from North Korea and the United States boast of the might of their atomic arsenals and the size and location of their nuclear buttons.
On Monday, Gen. David Goldfein toured Crane with Indiana’s two U.S. senators — Democrat Joe Donnelly and Republican Todd Young — and 9th Congressional District Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, a Republican. Goldfein’s visit was a milestone that “demonstrates the growing importance of NSWC Crane to American national security,” a media summary of the event read.
During a news conference at Crane during which “the three-legged nuclear triad” — the military structure creating the ability to launch a nuclear attack using airplanes, ground-launched missiles or submarines — was mentioned more than once, Goldfein stressed the importance of nuclear deterrence in what he termed “these uncertain times.”
“The work going on here at Crane is essential to our future,” he said, to maintain a balance of weapons readiness and deterrence.
He said the U.S. Navy and Air Force are tasked with maintaining the national security in an uncertain age. “A safe and reliable nuclear deterrence rests on us,” he said, citing the value of electronic warfare weapons systems Crane designs and maintains, “bringing technology to the edge for airmen out there facing the enemy.”
Goldfein is the first Air Force chief of staff to ever visit the 100-square-mile Indiana base that’s a half-hour drive southwest of Bloomington. Over the past year, several other high-ranking Air Force officials have made the same journey to survey the base and the work done there.