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Hagel Assesses Capabilities at Cheyenne Mountain Complex

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2013 – As part of his two-day tour of Colorado facilities and installations, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visited Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station yesterday to assess current defense capabilities in the face of the nation’s new challenges.

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, and Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr., commander of U.S. Northern Command, look over a 9/11 monument made from a remnant of the World Trade Center, outside Northcom headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., June 27, 2013. DOD photo by Glenn Fawcett

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Hagel’s stops included homeland and integrated air and missile defense briefings from officials and Canadian partners at North American Aerospace Defense Command, and Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr., commander of U.S. Northern Command and NORAD at Peterson Air Force Base.

“This facility … and the entire complex of NORAD and Northcom represent, really, the nerve center of defense for North America,” Hagel said.

The secretary’s wife, Lilibet, accompanied him and also visited facilities to meet with troops and their families to address sexual assault and other matters affecting the welfare of the force.

“It is the people that are the core of any institution,” Hagel said. “It really matters little how much money you have in the budget or how much technology you have –- if you don’t have the right people, you don’t have much.”

Hagel praised the quality and character of troops as “central to the defense of this country,” giving special recognition to those who have battled debilitating area forest fires in recent months.

“This has been a tough … time for many states in our country dealing with natural disasters,” Hagel said. “I’m very proud of the kind of contributions … that our service members have made to this community and to help others. That’s who we are, and that is part of our mission in the Defense Department.” 

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Remarks by Secretary Hagel and Gen. Jacoby at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colorado

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