The Department of Defense announced today that the Office of the Assistant to
the Secretary of Defense for Atomic Energy has changed its name to the Office
of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Chemical and
Biological Defense Programs.
The name changed in Public Law 104-106, under Title IX of the FY'96 Defense
Authorization act which was signed by the President on February 10, 1996. The
organizational name change more accurately describes the current functions and
new missions of the office.
The Atomic Energy Act of 1954 established the position of Assistant to the
Secretary of Defense for Atomic Energy with the responsibility of providing
technical advice on nuclear weapons to the Secretary.
Dr. Harold P. Smith has been the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for
Atomic Energy since June 1993. During his time he has led the transition and
expansion of the responsibilities of this office. Today he retains the
responsibilities of managing nuclear matters and maintaining the nuclear
stockpile as well as serving as the Secretary to the Nuclear Weapons Council.
Additionally, the following responsibilities have been added or expanded
-- Chemical matters to include destruction of chemical weapons in the United
States and Russia.
-- Biological matters to provide passive defense capability against the threat
of biological weapons.
-- Arms control treaties and agreements implementation and counterproliferation
-- Cooperative threat reduction program to assist with elimination of weapons
of mass destruction with states of the former Soviet Union.
Additionally, Dr. Smith has responsibility for overseeing the Defense Nuclear
Agency and The On-Site Inspection Agency.