OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. (AP) _ Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel signaled that U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base will be around for a long time, even as the Department of Defense calls for base closings around the country.
Hagel said Thursday at a ceremony to honor StratCom personnel that the command is central to dealing with the new threats facing the country.
Earlier Thursday, Hagel was briefed on the capabilities of the command, which oversees the nation's nuclear arsenal and has many strategic missions.
Following his remarks, the former two-term U.S. senator from Nebraska handed out commemorative coins to more than 200 military service members and civilians with U.S. Strategic Command.
The trip to Nebraska is Hagel's first since being confirmed as defense secretary in February.