Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications Systems - Part I

Course #SS3740

Est.imated Completion Time: 3 months


Same as AE3740. This course is the first of two courses that introduce nuclear command & control concepts as well as a comprehensive, technical view of the US Nuclear Command & Control & Communications (NC3) system. The first course will concentrate on deterrence theory, command & control theory and history behind the US NC3 system, as well as an introduction to NC3 support space systems.

Students will study international as well as domestic law & policy guidance in relation to nuclear weapon employment and proliferation. Nuclear close calls will be analyzed to identify failures in systems & procedures that must be avoided in the future. Students will study the state of nuclear weapons worldwide and understand the US strategy to counter the various nuclear threats. Students will begin a comprehensive study of the US NC3 system, which will continue in the second course.

Security clearance: Secret

Included in degrees & certificates

  • 298
  • 608
  • 738


The following are eligible for this offering:

  • Naval Officers
  • Naval Enlisted
  • Non-Naval Officers
  • Non-Naval Enlisted
  • DON Civilians
  • DOD Civilians
  • Defense Contractors
  • Non-DOD Federal Employees
  • State and Local Government Employees
  • US Civilians


  • SS3011
  • SS3613

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will understand prevailing nuclear deterrence and assurance theories.
  • Students will understand command & control (C2) as it pertains to Nuclear Command & Control (NC2).
  • Students will understand international law and treaties and domestic law and policies as it pertains to NC2.
  • Students will understand NC2 as understood and implemented by world nuclear powers including Russia, China, Pakistan, India and North Korea.
  • Students will be introduced at a high level to the US Nuclear Command, Control and Communications (NC3) system.
  • Students will understand thick-line (peacetime) operations vs thin-line (crisis) operations of the US NC3 system, and concepts of thin vs thick-line.
  • Students will understand the major systems necessary to support the NC3 system including space and land based early warning, military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) and the US nuclear detonation detection system (USNDS).
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Application Deadlines

  •  08 Jul 2024

    Fall Quarter applications due

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