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Report: Deborah Lee James Names Nuclear Arms Mission as Top USAF Priority

Deborah Lee James
Deborah Lee James

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said that it is necessary to retain airmen working on nuclear arms programs as she and other officials discussed personnel cutbacks elsewhere in the service, National Journal reported Thursday.

Rachel Oswald writes that an estimated 4,000 nuclear weapons personnel will not be among the 16,700 active-duty personnel the Air Force plans to cut by fiscal 2015 due to declining budgets.

“Nuclear is number one,” James said at a recent press conference regarding prioritizing the program, according to Oswald.

The report said previous analysis have indicated a perception that nuclear arms is a low-priority mission because of outdated support infrastructure, but the Air Force has announced in June that $50 million will be redirected toward nuclear infrastructure rehabilitation.

“We’re shifting resources and we’re shifting personnel,” James said.

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