Hagel to Visit Troops in Texas, New Mexico, Wyoming

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2014 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will travel to military facilities in Texas, New Mexico and Wyoming this week to thank wounded warriors, troops and defense workers for their service and dedication, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said here today.

Tomorrow in San Antonio, Hagel will make his first official visit to Brooke Army Medical Center at Joint Base San Antonio to visit wounded warriors and hospital workers and staff.

There, Warren said, the secretary will speak at the BAMC Center for the Intrepid to thank the staff for their care and support of U.S. troops.

BAMC provides inpatient care, outpatient care and advanced rehabilitation services. Its hospital component is the San Antonio Military Medical Center, a 425-bed medical facility that is the only stateside Level I Trauma Center in the Defense Department.

After Hagel’s BAMC visit, he will travel to Albuquerque, N.M., to tour Sandia National Laboratories and Kirtland Air Force Base, and speak with Sandia staff and troops, Warren said.

Sandia’s main mission is to develop, engineer and test non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons, according to the Sandia website. Sandia Corp., a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp., operates Sandia National Laboratories as a contractor for the U.S. Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration agencies.

Sandia’s laboratories consist of two major Energy Department research and development national labs. The main campus is on Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, and the other is in Livermore, Calif., next to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Kirtland is home to the Air Force Materiel Command’s Nuclear Weapons Center, a source of expertise for nuclear weapon systems. Its responsibilities include nuclear system programs acquisition, modernization and sustainment for the departments of Defense and Energy.

In Albuquerque, the secretary will receive briefings on the modernization, safety and security of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, the spokesman said.

On Jan. 9, Hagel will travel to F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyo., to visit intercontinental ballistic missile training and operation facilities. That afternoon, the secretary will make remarks to service members on the base, broadcast live on the Pentagon Channel, before returning to Washington.

(Follow Cheryl Pellerin on Twitter: @PellerinAFPS)

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