Tactical Nuclear Weapons Responsibility: Ordnance Versus Field Artillery
Author/Editor: Lieutenant Colonel Joseph A. Fields
Publisher/Sponsor: USAWC Military Studies Program Paper
Supplier: US Army War College
Report Date: March 8th, 1990
Document Number: –
Nautilus Filing Number: –
Box Number: 11
There has existed and still exists an operational dichotomy in the area of the provision of tactical nuclear weapons to United States Army forces versus those allied forces in a combined theater of operations. Specifically, within the NATO environment and to a very small degree within Combined Forces Korea, there exists a condition where tactical nuclear weapons are supplied to the US firing unit by an organization under the proponency of the Ordinance Corps. On the other hand, within the same theater, the non-US force receives their tactical nuclear weapons by an organization under the proponency of the Field Artillery. This paper will examine the functions performed by this duplication of supply organizations and briefly list the supporting structure. It will then explore any possible purpose for the duplication which would justify this apparent mission replication. Discussion will then follow which will list the pros and cons of staying with the status quo or the possible assignment of the supply function to a single branch proponency. Conclusions are then drawn and recommendations made for improving the current system of tactical nuclear weapon support.
Readers seeking an historical understanding of North Korean nuclear threat perceptions may wish to consult the book Pacific Powderkeg:[https://nautilus.org/DPRKBriefingBook/nuclearweapons/PacificPowderkegbyPeterHayes.pdf]
This report was released to the Nautilus Institute under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).