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.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald

40 years of Red Flag at Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald A flight of F-15 Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons Aggressors fly in formation over the Nevada Test and Training Ranges June 5, 2008. The proposal for Red Flag came in early...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Navy gears up to order production of 29 aircraft diagnostic systems

Lockheed Martin photograph Petty Officers Third Class Ira Schwartz assigned to Fleet Readiness Center Southeast at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., left, and Devin Riley from Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic at Naval Ai...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

96th Test Group brings ‘R2-D2′ to life

Courtesy photograph A Rear Cockpit Pallet is mounted in the back of a T-38 Talon Jan. 13, 2015 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. The project to build the RCP began from a need to design a platform that could serve to perform hig...
 

 

Future joint concepts focus on human elements

A panel of military officers discussed the concepts of the Strategic Landpower Task Force Jan. 16 at the Center for Strategic International Studies in Washington, D.C. Developed from the lessons learned over the past 12 years of conflict, the Joint Concept for Integrated Campaigning and the Human Aspects of Military Operations concepts are currently making...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara

Dutch F-35s touch down at Edwards

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Two F-35 Lightning IIs, F-001 and F-002, of the Royal Netherlands Air Force landed at Edwards Jan. 16, after a five-hour flight from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The Joint Strike Fighters arrive...
 
 
Army photograph by Conrad Johnson

Army researchers develop batteries that don’t corrode

Army photograph by Conrad Johnson Emily Wikner, an Army Research Laboratory intern (left), assists Army Research Laboratory scientist Arthur Cresce, in the Electrochemistry Branch. Cresce is the co-inventor of an electrolyte ad...
 




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>