May 19 (UPI) -- The Air Force announced Tuesday that its Nuclear Weapons Center is breaking up the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Systems Directorate into two new directorate teams: the Minuteman III Systems Directorate and the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, or GBSD, Systems Directorate.
"This restructuring is a natural progression of the Air Force's increasing focus on the modernization of the ICBM, the third leg of our strategic nuclear triad," said Maj. Gen. Shaun Morris, AFNWC commander and Air Force program executive officer for strategic systems, in a press statement.
"It also allows us to centralize some functional requirements, such as manpower and security, at a central operating location at Hill AFB, thus freeing up our subject matter experts to better focus on both sustaining the Minuteman III and acquiring the new GBSD weapon system," Morris said.
The NWC synchronizes all aspects of nuclear materiel management on behalf of Air Force Materiel Command in support of Air Force Global Strike Command, with more than 1,300 personnel assigned to 18 locations around the world.
The Minuteman III Systems Directorate will be led by Col. Luke Cropsey, currently the ICBM Systems director. The GBSD Systems Directorate will be led by Col. Jason Bartolomei, who is currently the system program manager for GBSD and will continue to serve in that role.
Morris said he expects a seamless transition.
The Ground Based Strategic Deterrent is a land-based intercontinental ballistic missile system which was developed to replace the Air Force's 450 Minuteman III missiles beginning in 2027.