Hagel Visits Offutt Air Force Base
CREATED Jun. 20, 2013
Omaha, NE - Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel makes his last stop at Offutt Air Force base before returning to Washington DC.
The Vietnam veteran and Nebraska native thanked the military and civilians for their service.
Hagel presented coins to more than two hundred service members and those who previously served. His address comes at a time as a new leader of the fighting 55th wing takes over command, Colonel Gregory Guillot.
As Guillot takes charge, Offutt copes with budget uncertainty.
Chuck Hagel defends the need to make cuts in the military budget and says it can be done without reducing the Nations military strength.
So far this year, Offutt alone has taken a direct hit due to the sequestration. As part of a budget deal, cuts to flight hours were mandated by congress. Civilian employees at Offutt Air Force base were furloughed. Offutt also had to cancel its air show a few months ago.
The military faces national changes and Hagel ordered services to move ahead with a plan to bring in women into combat jobs and elite positions.
This is Hagel's last stop before he returns to Washington later Thursday.