Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, pointed to the pieces of the triad that are nearing the end of their service life. Minuteman III missiles were first fielded in 1970, the B-52 and B-2 bombers first deployed in the ’50s and ’80s respectively, and ballistic missile submarines first entered service in 1981, he said. Even the warheads are aging and were mostly designed and built in the 1970s.
Gen. Paul Selva, the vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, told the House Armed Services Committee that the military is currently facing the challenge of maintaining the nuclear triad and that the need to recapitalize is becoming more and more apparent.
“These systems will not remain viable forever,” he said.
We have an awful lot of bills coming due after three Administrations worth of neglect.