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Public Papers - 1990 - February

Remarks to Strategic Air Command Personnel

1990-02-08

Well, good morning. This is the President speaking to you from the new command post at SAC Headquarters at Offutt. I know it's not morning for all the SAC troops listening in on this call, and that it is very early in the morning for some of you. Now I'm in the middle of a visit at your headquarters to discuss with General Chain your mission, the critical need to continue our strategic modernization program, and strategic arms control.

Earlier this week I visited Fort Irwin, the Army's National Training Center, and spoke to a group in California about strategic defense. All of these subjects are vital. And yet what I am always impressed with in my visits to our military bases around the world is the people who serve. No matter how capable our system, it is the professional men and women of our military who makes them work. The dedicated, skilled individual is the foundation of deterrence. You spend time away from your families and homes so that other Americans can sleep safely in theirs. Thank you for that -- and for braving conditions that are not always the best, especially the weather at some of the bases.

I also want to salute your role in shaping history, for the historical changes we are seeing in the Soviet Union are in no small part due to the vigilance and sheer hard work of the men and women of the Strategic Air Command. Your practice of deterrence has kept the peace and defined the basis for positive change in the Soviet Union. You should be proud of your role in that. But we still live in a time of uncertainty. So, as we push for a major new arms agreement with the Soviets, to increase stability we will continue to modernize strategic forces. Any time day or night, in the missile field or the flight line, in a command post, or in an office, you are deterrence.

So, on behalf of all Americans, I thank you for your sacrifices. For you air crews, keep 'em flying. And for you missile crews, the pointy end is up, and keep 'em in the green. God bless you all, and thank you for your wonderful service to this, the greatest country on the face of the Earth. God bless you.

Note: The President spoke by telecommunications network at 10:41 a.m. from the Command Center Operations Room at Strategic Air Command Headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, NE. In his remarks, he referred to Gen. John T. Chain, commander of Strategic Air Command Headquarters. Following his remarks, the President traveled to Columbus, OH.

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