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Hagel Signs Memos Laying Out Scope of Nuke Review Panels

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2014 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has signed memos for reviews of the military’s nuclear enterprise, and those will proceed apace, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said today.

During a Pentagon news conference, Kirby said the memos represent no change to the missions of the two panels, but rather lay out the scope of their tasks.

Hagel wants the internal review, which is already underway, to examine both the Air Force and Navy nuclear missions, Kirby said. Specifically, he added, he wants the internal panel to look at personnel, training, testing, command oversight, mission performance and investments.

Madelyn R. Creedon, the assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs, and Navy Rear Adm. Peter Fanta, the Joint Staff’s deputy director for resources and acquisition, will lead the panel. They have a deadline of April 30 to conclude their work.

The independent review will be led by former Air Force Chief of Staff retired Gen. Larry Welch and retired Navy Adm. John Harvey, the former commander of Navy Fleet Forces Command. They will begin work March 3, and will submit their findings 90 days later.

The independent review will assess the action plan moving forward and the recommendations on the internal review.

“They will offer their own views of what, if any, changes need to be made in nuclear force personnel policies, training, testing, oversight and management principles,” Kirby said.

Hagel also is examining the nomination packages of senior officers to join his staff to “advise and assist him with respect to issues regarding the leadership, conduct and professionalism of the force,” the press secretary said. That will be done in close coordination with Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“The chairman will be … intimately involved in whatever changes or things we learn going forward on any decisions that the secretary might make on behalf of the department,” Kirby said. “But the secretary believes that it’s important for him to have somebody on his personal staff to help integrate and ‘synergize’ … and help coordinate the efforts across the department to include the combatant commands, not just the services.”

This will be the first post of its kind in the Pentagon, and the secretary wants to make sure he does this right, Kirby said.

“This senior adviser for military professionalism will report directly to Secretary Hagel and will integrate and help coordinate the actions of the Joint Staff, the services, and the combatant commands, all of whom he knows are invested in this and equally as committed as he is to helping ensure that as a department, we better understand the scope of the problem before us and, to the degree we have systemic issues, that we solve them,” the admiral said.

Hagel hopes to make the announcement soon, Kirby said.

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneAFPS)


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