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.


 
 

 

Headlines June 29, 2015

News: SpaceX Falcon 9 explodes moments after launch – A SpaceX rocket carrying supplies to the International Space Station blew up June 28 shortly after liftoff.   Business: How serious a setback is SpaceX rocket explosion? – Elon Musk had never come face to face with that rule before — at least not in space travel —...
 
 

News Briefs June 29, 2015

Iraqi pilot in Arizona plane crash found dead Officials say the body of an Iraqi pilot who had been training in the United States and crashed in southern Arizona has been located. Iraq’s Defense Ministry said June 26 that search teams found the body of Brig. Gen. Rasid Mohammed Sadeeq at the crash site five...
 
 
Huntington Ingalls Industries photograph

PCU John Warner delivered to Navy

Huntington Ingalls Industries photograph A dolphin jumps in front of the Virginia-class attack submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) John Warner (SSN 785) as the boat conducts sea trials in the Atlantic Ocean. The U.S. Navy ac...
 

 
navair-helo

HX-21 completes first flight with developmental electronic warfare pod

On June 8, 2015, a UH-1Y from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21 completed the first test flight with a developmental electronic warfare pod.  The pod would represent a new tactical capability for U.S. Marine Corps rotar...
 
 

Northrop, Navy celebrate legacy of EA-6B Prowler

Northrop Grumman photograph by Edgar Mills The U.S. Navy’s last operational EA-6B Prowler, designed and built by Northrop Grumman, lifts off from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash. in a ceremonial fly-away June 27 from its long time operational base. The Navy is retiring the Prowler after nearly 45 years of service.   The U.S....
 
 
Air Force photograph by Capt. Tania Bryan

NORTHERN EDGE provides environment for testing new capabilities

Air Force photograph by Capt. Tania Bryan Aircraft from test and evaluation squadrons across the Air Force line up on the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson flightline. Northern Edge is Alaska’s premier joint training exercise d...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>