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 photo by Ken LaRock

First aviation mechanic display added to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

Air Force photo by Ken LaRock A bronze bust honoring the first aviation mechanic, Charles E. Taylor, is now on permanent display in the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force’s Early Years Gallery. The museum is located ne...
 
 
United Kingdom Ministry of Defense photograph

Army researchers develop Cargo Pocket ISR

United Kingdom Ministry of Defense photograph A British soldier holds Prox Dynamics’ PD-100 Black Hornet, a palm-sized miniature helicopter weighing only 16 grams. Researchers with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, D...
 
 
Army photograph by Charles Kennedy

New CT scanner finds diverse, important uses for researchers

Army photograph by Charles Kennedy Turning a now-standard tool for medical diagnostics and therapeutics to a host of new applications, the U. S. Army Research Laboratory’s Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate rece...
 

 
Army photograph by David Kamm

Chow from a 3-D printer? Natick researchers are working on it

Army photograph by David Kamm Natick food technologists already believe they serve up the best food science can offer. Now they are working to incorporate 3-D printing technology into foods for the war fighter. Army researchers...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Alexander Guerrero

Weapons School students get first look at upgraded B-1s

Air Force photograph by A1C Alexander Guerrero Maj. Brad Weber checks a screen that displays diagnostic information May 7, 2014, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The IBS is a combination of three different upgrades, which includ...
 
 
arnold-a10

A-10 ‘Warthog’ tested in 16-T

Air Force photograph A model of an A-10 Thunderbolt II, more commonly known as “The Warthog” due to its unique shape, recently underwent a pressure-sensitive paint (PSP) test in Arnold Engineering Development Complex’s 16...
 




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>