— Official News Release, U.S. Dept of Defense —
WASHINGTON — Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced today a comprehensive action plan to reform to the nuclear enterprise and called for additional critical investments in sustainment as well as measures to address longstanding cultural issues that have hurt the morale of the nuclear force.
In February of this year, following a series of events involving the nation’s nuclear forces and their leadership, Hagel directed both an internal and external review of the entire Defense Department nuclear enterprise.
The reviews concluded that while our nuclear forces are currently meeting the demands of the mission with dedication, significant changes are required to address systemic problems that could undermine the safety, security and effectiveness of the force in the future.
Together, the two reviews identified more than 100 recommendations to improve the nuclear deterrent forces. They focus on several key areas, including: oversight, investment and personnel and training and their recommendations range from acquisition investments to cultural challenges that will take time to see through.
These investments will cost several billion dollars over the five-year defense spending program in addition to ongoing modernization requirements identified in last year’s budget submission. The Department will prioritize funding on actions that improve the security and sustainment of the current force, ensures that modernization of the force remains on track, and that address shortfalls, which are undermining the morale of the force.
The external report, a summary of the internal report, a fact sheet on implementation and the secretary’s message to the force can be found at the following link: www.defense.gov/pubs/.