The order hasn’t been given, but the Air Force is already preparing to put U.S. nuclear armed bombers on 24-hour alert.

According to a Defense One article that cites Gen. David Goldfein, Air Force chief of staff, the U.S. Air Force is making initial preparations to put U.S. nuclear equipped bombers on 24-hour notice. Goldfein made the public announcement after a six day tour of Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.

Goldfein and other officials reportedly stressed that the order to put the bombers on 24-hour readiness had not come, but they were preparing the bombers in anticipation of such an alert. Defense One quotes Goldfein as saying, ““I look at it more as not planning for any specific event, but more for the reality of the global situation we find ourselves in and how we ensure we’re prepared going forward.”

As the Defense One article notes, the last time that the United States kept nuclear armed bombers on a 24-hour readiness status was in 1991 at the end of the Cold War. If an actual order was issued it would, according to Defense One, come from either Gen. John Hyten, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, or Gen. Lori Robinson, the head of U.S. Northern Command. STRATCOM is in charge of the military’s nuclear forces and NORTHCOM is in charge of defending North America.

For the full story, read the Defense One article.

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