Lt. Gen. Thomas Bussiere, deputy commander of U.S. Strategic Command, addressed a packed all-hands meeting of Sandia staff during his visit to the New Mexico site Aug. 24.
His presentation entitled “STRATCOM’s Perspective on Deterrence: Integrated Deterrence and Multi-Actor Deterrence” covered the nuclear landscape globally and offered encouragement to the workforce. Bussiere described the geopolitical situation as a “bipolar world of nuclear instability” and expanded on changes abroad, including Russia’s threats of nuclear war and China multiplying its arsenal. He emphasized the importance of Sandia’s work in response to these changes.
“Every capability in the DOD is underpinned by the fact that strategic deterrence will hold. Everything unravels itself if those things are not true,” he said.
Bussiere reminded staff of the value that the Labs provides to the nation. “We can’t do our business without you. The national lab construct is crucial to the ability to do our job. The byproduct of what you do is our ability to defend this nation,” he said.
At the end of his presentation, Bussiere invited questions from the audience, including a question about what Sandia can do in response to nuclear acceleration in Russia and China.
“We have the coolest science, coolest airplanes and coolest facilities, but the strength of the DOD and this nation doesn’t come with a serial number or a tail number. It comes with a social security number,” he said. “So how do you build a workforce that has the talent and creativity that we need? That’s job number one.”
“The level of expertise and talent at this organization is a national treasure.”— U.S. Strategic Command Deputy Commander Thomas Bussiere
He said that the second priority is to ensure the stockpile is up to date. “Understanding the credibility of the stockpile affects everything we do,” he said.
To conclude his presentation, Bussiere responded to a question about global economics and cybersecurity, and their impact on defense. “Who do you think created the economic juggernaut of China? The economic stronghold that China has internationally is alarming,” he said.
During his visit, the lieutenant general received briefings from experts about Sandia’s work in hypersonics, ballistic efficiency and integrated deterrence.
“The level of expertise and talent at this organization is a national treasure,” he said.