Government
1:26 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Defense Sec. Hagel visits Offutt Air Force Base

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel signaled that U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt AFB is safe from base closings the Defense Department might consider.

Hagel said Thursday at a ceremony to honor StratCom personnel that the U.S. Strategic Command is central to dealing with the new threats the country faces.

Earlier Thursday, Hagel was briefed on the capabilities of the command, which oversees the nation's nuclear arsenal and has many strategic missions.

On Wednesday in a speech at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the former U.S. senator from Nebraska said the U.S. military will face several challenges in the coming years,

Hagel earned a bachelor's in history at UNO some 40 years ago, after serving in Vietnam.

This trip to Nebraska is his first since being confirmed as defense secretary.

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