Admiral hands reins to General at U.S. Strategic Command

Published: Nov. 3, 2016 at 8:48 AM CDT
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Adm. Cecil D. Haney, U.S. Strategic Command commander, formally relinquishes command to Gen. John E. Hyten at a change of command ceremony Thursday morning.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, presiding official, and Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are scheduled to attend the ceremony.

Haney, who will retire later this year after more than 38 years of service, assumed command of USSTRATCOM in November 2013, after serving as the U.S. Pacific Fleet commander.

“The course of our heritage here is nuclear deterrence and assurance, but the command is responsible for missions and capabilities that have made us far more diverse and far more versatile to the benefit of our national security,” Haney said. “Throughout my time here at USSTRATCOM, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of serving alongside America’s true heroes who, on a daily basis, overcome the challenges of today’s complex, dynamic and volatile security environment.

“U.S. Strategic Command remains ready, agile and effective in detecting, deterring and preventing strategic attack against the U.S., its allies and partners, and is always prepared – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – to deliver warfighting capability to defend this nation,” Haney added.

Haney noted the greater Omaha area is an ideal home for the service members and civilians assigned to USSTRATCOM.

“I’ve been in a lot of communities. It’s hard to choose among all of them because they all do something really remarkable for our men and women in uniform,” he said. “But Omaha and Bellevue are exceptional in their support of our military families.”

Hyten comes to USSTRATCOM after serving as the commander of Air Force Space Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

In a statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation in September, he emphasized his commitment the critical role USSTRATCOM plays in national defense.

“I pledge to focus my best efforts ensuring STRATCOM working in sync with the entire joint force can provide the department and the nation comprehensive strategic deterrence, assurance and escalation control options from a multi-domain perspective in support of U.S. national interests,” Hyten said.

Hyten also praised Haney for his outstanding leadership to the command.

“He has been a truly remarkable leader and commander, he's been a great boss, he's taught me a lot and it's very important to me that I publicly thank him for what he has done,” he said. “It's quite humbling to be even considered for position with such an amazing legacy and history.”