By Bob Mayberry and John LaForge
Nukewatch Quarterly Summer 2020
While the coronavirus and climate change, war, famine, floods, hurricanes and typhoons cause social and economic disruption at home and abroad, some in the United States military plod along with routine nuclear war planning. Instead of mobilizing relief efforts and supplies for Covid-19 response and for refugees and other people displaced or endangered by war or climate chaos, our “great” country—or as Finian O’Toole recently described it in Irish Times, “the world’s best concentration of medical and scientific expertise, effectively limitless financial resources, [and] a military complex with stunning logistical capacity”—is blindly doubling down on its nuclear war readiness.
The German military analyst Otfried Nassauer (director of the Berlin Information Centre for Transatlantic Security) reported recently:
“At the end of 2019, the USA sent a strategic missile submarine [the USS Tennessee] on patrol for the first time, carrying at least one Trident II D5 missile with only a small [sic] W76-2 [nuclear] warhead of about 8 [kilotons] of explosive power. The use of this sub-strategic warhead considered for ‘initial nuclear use’—in response to an assumed Russian tactical nuclear weapons deployment in Europe was announced in February in a small war game at STRATCOM [US Strategic Command in Omaha, Nebraska].”
This ‘war game’ was reported widely, including by Julian Borger in the Guardian, Feb. 24, under the heading: “US staged ‘limited’ nuclear battle against Russia in war game.”
Of course, some of these nuclear war exercises are anything but games.
In August last year, it’s now been reported, the US air force flew all 20 of the thermonuclear bombs it stations in Germany back to the United States for a very short time. According to the April 11 edition of the German weekly Der Spiegel, the H-bombs were loaded aboard a giant US air force C-17 “Globemaster” cargo plane, and sent on the highly secret round trip in order to install new software in the bombs.  The new parts reportedly deal with codes used for arming and detonating the bombs.
According to Nassauer, who spoke in a conference call May 4, the US nuclear weapons were flown to Kirtland air force base, in the southeast corner of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The H-bombs went to Kirtland air base because it is home to the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center and the so-called Air Delivered Capabilities Directorate, responsible for maintaining air-launched nuclear weapons in the US and Europe.
Kirtland AFB is also the home of the Defense Nuclear Weapons School, which teaches nuclear war. Current courses include “Theater Nuclear Operations,” which the website says “provides training for planners, support staff, targeteers, and staff nuclear planners,” and teach, “the targeting effects of nuclear weapon employment.”
Another course is “Integrated Munitions Effects Assessment” which instructs students in “creating target models, [and] developing attack plans using … nuclear weapons,” where they learn to “calculate probabilistic attacks against predefined targets,” and “consequence assessment to WMD [weapons of mass destruction] scenarios….”
For the curious, Kirtland air base is also home to the Nuclear Weapons Instructions Museum which “contains displays of all stockpiled US nuclear weapons and their associated components and delivery systems, as well as related training aids.
This is real, but you don’t have to take Nukewatch’s word for it. You could see the Defense Nuclear Weapons School on-line at nukewatchinfo.org/us-mass-murder-school. The Pentagon recently put it behind a wall but Nukewatch downloaded some relevant sections in time. The Guardian, 24 February 2020  Der Spiegel, No. 16, 11 April 2020, pp. 26, 28, 29