Offutt Air Force Base Missions

The Nebraska Tech Collaborative, an Aksarben Workforce Initiative, will be writing a series of posts that are tied to the U.S. military’s efforts at Offutt Air Force Base (AFB) in Bellevue, Nebraska.  Offutt has two primary missions located on the base – and four other mission units that are located at the base.  The two primary missions are the 55th wing of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and USSTRATCOM (formerly the United States Strategic Air Command).  These missions are joined by four other (often related) missions: the 557th Weather Wing, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the Heartland of America Band, and the 595th Command and Control Group.

Each of these organizations have specific missions and are coordinated across various branches of the military. 

  • The 55th Wing is based at Offutt AFB.  Its mission is to provide “dominant intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, electronic attach, and nuclear command and control to national leadership and warfighters…Anytime, Anyplace.  The 55th Wing is the largest wing of Air Combat Command which was created in 1992 as a merger (of sorts) of the Tactical Air Command (TAC) responsible for establishing pre-eminence in the skies above and in coordination with the Army and Navy in fighting theaters and the Strategic Air Command (SAC) which was primarily associated with nuclear strategy and deterrence.  The “Fighting Fifty-Fifth” has more than 7,000 employees, a budget of more than $477 million annually, 46 aircraft, 31 squadrons, and is responsible for global flying missions, worldwide reconnaissance, and treaty verification.  The wing is comprised of six groups, five located at Offutt AFB and one in Arizona at Davis-Monthan AFB.[1][2]
  • USSTRATCOM is one of eleven unified commands in the Department of Defense.  It is responsible for the command and control capability associated with strategic deterrence, nuclear operations, space operations[3], joint electronic spectrum operations, global strike, missile defense, and analysis and targeting.[4] The current commander is Admiral Charles Richard. A major initiative is to overhaul the command, control, and communications systems.  This has been estimated by the Congressional Budget Office at $77 billion.[5]
  • The 557th Weather Wing is the Air Force’s only weather wing.  It is responsible for 24/7 terrestrial and space environmental data, analyses, forecasts, threat-warning, and threat-mitigation products and services for the Department of Defense, military services, all geographic and functional combatant commands, and the National Intelligence Community, White House Situation Room, interagency, allied and coalition partners around the world.[6]  The 557th has more than 1400 employees, separated into two groups, headquartered at Offutt but it has 12 squadrons dispersed across 17 global locations. 
  • The Heartland of America Band is a fifteen-person unit that provides music to inspire, encourage, honor, and electrify.  It is based at Offutt AFB but performs globally as part of the USAF and its various needs[7].
  • The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency is responsible for providing the fullest accounting to the nation and to the families of missing service people.  It has operations in Hawaii, Washington DC, and at Offutt AFB.
  • The 595th Command and Control Wing is part of the 8th Air Force and Air Force Global Strike.  Its mission is to ensure strategic deterrence by providing personnel for nuclear command, control, and communications (NC3) efforts. [8]

These efforts are critical the United States’ ability to effectively provide strategic deterrence and NC3 capabilities.  Over the course of the next couple of posts, we will specifically examine NC3, communication resiliency and some related topics, including cyber security.  The goal of these is to provide information about Nebraska’s largest employer and to better align NTC, Omaha, Nebraska, and the region around support for the efforts of the US military’s efforts in the state



[3] United States Space Command was established in 2019.  There are seven finalists for the location of the command, which do not include Offutt.  It is unclear what the long-term effect will be to space operations under USSTRATCOM, but it appears likely that some functions may shift to SPACECOM in the future.

[4] At one-point USSTRATCOM also housed US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM).  However, it was separated into a sub-unit in 2008 and later elevated to a primary unified command in 2017.  It is located at Fort Meade, MD.