BARKSDALE AFB, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Gen. Anthony Cotton will soon be leaving for a new position at the United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), and a commander from USSTRATCOM is stepping up to replace him.

Gen. Anthony Cotton (Source: US Air Force)

Gen. Cotton has served as the commander of the Air Force Global Strike Command since his appointment in August of 2021. But next week, US Strategic Command will hold a change of command ceremony as he moves to his new post.

He has served as an Air Force officer for 36 years and previously served as the Deputy Commander of the Global Strike Command before his promotion. Gen. Cotton entered the Air Force through the ROTC program while attending North Carolina State University. He “pinned on” the rank of General in August of 2021. During his service, Cotton has earned numerous awards and decorations, including the National Reconnaissance Office Medal of Distinguished Performance, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal with device.

During his nomination for USSTRATCOM, he told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Strategic Command must adapt to changes in the world, including easing new capabilities, rebuilding communications and command-and-control systems, and handling near-peer rivals such as Russia and China.

“While the current system is secure and resilient, modernization and sustainment of this capability is just as important as the weapon system platforms themselves,” he told the senators. “If confirmed, I will use my authorities to ensure that NC3 [nuclear command, control and communications] systems continue to outpace the threat.” 

USSTRATCOM Command and Control Facility at Offutt AFB
USSTRATCOM Command and Control Facility at Offutt AFB (Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

The ceremony for Gen. Cotton will take place as he assumes command of United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) in Nebraska on Dec. 9. As commander, he will be responsible for coordinating command and control capability and providing timely information for the President, Secretary of Defence and national leadership. Strategic Command’s mission is to deter strategic attacks and employ forces to guarantee the security of the U.S. and its allies.

Lt. Gen. Thomas A. Bussiere (Source: US Air Force)

Officials say that his replacement is not yet confirmed. A ceremony will be held on Barksdale AFB once Gen. Bussiere is confirmed.

Lt. Gen. Thomas A. Bussiere is currently serving as Deputy Commander of USSTRATCOM on Offutt Air Force Base.

Bussiere is a command pilot with more than 3,400 hours in the T-38 Talon, F-15C Eagle, B-2A Spirit, B-1B Lancer and F-22 Raptor. He led F-15C combat missions during operations Southern Watch and Vigilant Warrior and B-2 combat missions during operations Allied Force and Iraqi Freedom. During his service Bussiere has earned many medals and awards including the Kuwait Liberation Medal, Government of Kuwait, the Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal with ‘N’ device and the Missouri Legion of Merit.

Three B-52H Stratofortresses fly over Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana
Three B-52H Stratofortresses fly over Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana (Source: Barksdale Air Force Base – Senior Airman Christina Graves)

Global Strike Command is responsible for approximately 33,700 military members and personnel, cruise missiles and intercontinental ballistic missiles, and nuclear and non-nuclear bombers.