Defense

January 27, 2014

Hagel vows to restore confidence in nuclear mission

Nick Simeone
American Forces Press Service

A day after ordering an independent review of the militarys nuclear force amid allegations of cheating on proficiency exams by Air Force officers overseeing the nations ballistic nuclear missiles, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Jan. 24 vowed to restore confidence in the Air Forces nuclear mission.

Whatever the factors – historical, institutional, cultural – the Department of Defense and the Air Force will do whatever it takes to continue to ensure the safety, security, reliability and effectiveness of our nuclear enterprise, Hagel said at a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony for Deborah Lee James, the 23rd secretary of the Air Force.

The service has suspended 34 launch officers overseeing intercontinental ballistic missiles after an investigation implicated them for cheating or failing to report cheating on exams. A Pentagon spokesman told reporters yesterday the allegations raise legitimate concerns about the department’s stewardship of one of our most sensitive and important missions, prompting Hagel to call for an independent, broader examination of the strategic deterrence enterprise as it relates to personnel.

At todays ceremony, Hagel said he, James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark. A. Welsh III are deeply concerned about the overall health and professionalism and discipline of our strategic forces, and called the problems facing the new Air Force secretary daunting. But he credited James with a swift, decisive and thoughtful response, to the matter after she visited missile bases around the country in recent days. Even so, he said, restoring confidence in the nuclear mission will be a top priority.

Hagel called James well suited to lead the Air Force as the nation faces an increasingly uncertain security environment.

The rise of emerging powers, dangerous rogue states, affiliated terrorist organizations, and the proliferation of technology will mean more contested and complicated domains, from space to cyber to sea lanes, he said.

James, who was officially sworn in as secretary last month, pledged to leave this Air Force some years from now on a path toward greater capability and better affordability for our taxpayers while always remembering and protecting the important people who underpin everything we do. But she cautioned the service will continue to face difficult challenges and trade-offs brought on by shrinking budgets.

Hagel noted that James has spent the last 30 years serving on the staff of the House Armed Services Committee, at the Pentagon, where she served three secretaries of defense, as well as in the private sector. Her approach, he said, has been to understand the problems and opportunities, listen carefully, and then act decisively. This, he added, will make her a success leading the Air Force.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 
 

SMC stands up new Advanced Systems, Development Directorate

While space officially begins at 62 miles above the Earth’s surface, for the men and women of the Air Force space begins near sea level at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base,Calif. SMC is where innovative ideas are matured into space systems that deliver operational capabilities to U.S. warfighters in...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr.

Navy’s first F-35C squadron surpasses 1,000 flight hours

Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr. An F-35C Lightning II aircraft piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, flies the squadron’s first local sortie. The F-35C is the carrier va...
 
 

Salina, Kansas, recalls anniversary of shuttered base

It has been 50 years this month since the announcement that Schilling Air Force Base was closing rattled Salina residents. The Salina Journal, which carried news of the closure in its Nov. 19, 1964, editions, reported that the economic disaster then spared no part of the community – real estate, retail, civic involvement, church attendance,...
 
 
Navy photograph by Seaman Sabrina Fine

SEWIP block upgrade program evaluated for LCS

Navy photograph by Seaman Sabrina Fine Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Seaman Helen Hernandez monitors an SLQ-32 radar aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Dwight D. Eisenhower is deplo...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>