US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has vowed to put billions of dollars in investment over the next five years to overhaul the country’s deadly nuclear weapons arsenal.
Citing two unnamed defense officials, the Associated Press reported that he ordered two reviews of the situation of the nuclear forces which have led him to conclude that the problems are “a lack of investment, inattention by high-level leaders and sagging morale.”
Based on the report, Hagel has ordered a series of top-to-bottom reforms aimed at fixing the management of the country’s nuclear forces.
Hagel is to announce his decision during a press conference to be held on Friday ahead of his visit to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.
The report added that the Air Force has been affected more than other forces by the flaws in the nuclear weapons particularly in its Minuteman-III intercontinental ballistic missile force in North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.
There have been numerous problems in management and security of US nuclear arms which led to disciplinary actions against several Air Force officers.
The problems included misbehavior by ICBM force commanders, problems with training and breaches in security rules as well as exam cheating issues.
The new review has revealed that the US nuclear forces suffer from incoherency which causes unawareness of commanders from troubles in their under-command forces.
Hagel has authorized to put a four-star general in charge of the Air Force nuclear forces. Currently, Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, a three-star general is responsible for the 450 Minuteman ICBMs and the nuclear bomber force.
The reforms would also include changes at the level of Air Force headquarters.
Hagel concluded that billions of dollars more will be needed in the next five years to upgrade equipment.
He is expected to ask for an amount between $1 billion and $10 billion in additional investment, according to the military officials who disclosed the information.