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LETTER: New nuclear weapons dangers in our backyard?

12 April 2018

Our neighbors in Bedford, Lexington, Lincoln and Concord may become unsuspecting targets for a nuclear strike as a result of the new nuclear arms race underway.

Hanscom Air Force Base has been designated as the location of the Program Executive Office (PEO) for Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications (NC3).

Hanscom, the only active duty Air Force Base in New England, is an 846-acre base located in Bedford, Lexington and Lincoln, bordering Concord. The NC3 program, described by the Department of Defense, “executes a portfolio of 17 programs valued at $1.2B… that provide survivable and endurable communications for the nuclear enterprise. Additionally, the directorate is responsible for integrating over 60 individual nuclear command and control communications systems that underpin and enable nuclear deterrent operations.”

The Air Force’s new role for Hanscom is part of the military’s plan to spend $1.2 trillion on “modernizing” the nation’s nuclear weapons forces over the next 30 years. President Trump’s recently released Nuclear Posture Review further expands this effort by pushing for development and production of “low-yield”, “tactical” nuclear weapons, and by seeking to authorize the use of such weapons in response to conventional conflict or cyber-attacks.

In an interview with The Boston Globe, Sen. Markey said: “You cannot survive a ‘winnable’ nuclear war. That is insanity. That’s part of the old nuclear war-fighting paradigm that we worked very hard to end when military strategists used to talk about the tens of millions of deaths that we could survive.”

Despite this risk, the Massachusetts Congressional delegation, including Sens. Markey (a purported nuclear weapons opponent) and Warren and Hanscom area Congressional Reps. Moulton, Clark and Tsongas, have expressed support for the DoD’s decision to house the NC3 program in the heart of suburban, “cradle-of-liberty,” Massachusetts!

With the Doomsday Clock set at two minutes to midnight, no negotiations taking place or set for the future among the nuclear nations, and other nuclear nations following the U.S. lead in developing smaller, more usable nuclear weapons, it is up to us — “we the people” to raise our voices of concern — the lives we work to protect are our very own.

On April 16, 2018, there will be a walk and rally to protest the new NC3 Command at Hanscom. Assemble in Lexington Center at 1 p.m. and walk to Hanscom Air Force Base Main Entrance where the rally will take place at 3 p.m.

Thea Paneth, Chandler Street


April 13, 2018 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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