OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. â€“ Adm. Cecil Haney recently assumed command of the United States’ nuclear deterrent force, bringing with him decades of experience ranging from commanding submarine fleets â€“ a key component of the nuclear triad â€“ to serving previously as the deputy of U.S. Strategic Command.
Admiral Haney is the ninth commander to lead USSTRATCOM since it was reactivated on Oct. 1, 2002 following its merger with early missile warning and defense and long-range strike capabilities.Â USSTRATCOM’s mission areas further expanded under the 2003 Unified Command Plan when it became responsible for information operations; missile defense integration; prompt global strike; and command and control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or C4ISR.Â Space operations were later added in 2006, followed by the standup of U.S. Cyber Command in 2009 to address the growing cyberspace mission.
Prior to being entrusted with managing the command’s complex portfolio of missions, Admiral Haney underwent a rigorous confirmation process in which he shared an in-depth and nuanced understanding of USSTRATCOM’s mission areas during a Senate Armed Services Committee nomination hearing in July of this year.
“My top priority is to ensure the stockpile remains safe, secure, and effective to support the Nation’s deterrence missions,” he said during his SASC hearing testimony, later adding, “The U.S. strategic nuclear deterrent force of ICBMs, bombers and ballistic missile submarines will remain the primary deterrent of nuclear attacks against the U.S., our allies and partners.”
Haney became USSTRATCOM commander on Nov. 15, 2013 where top Department of Defense leaders, including Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, lauded his military experience, explaining how it will complement the multifaceted nature of the command’s overarching mission sets.
“Admiral Haney brings an exceptional set of skills and experiences honed over 35 years in uniform,” Secretary Hagel said during the change of command ceremony.Â “He has excelled in all levels of service to our nation, including as the most recent commander of Pacific Fleet, the largest naval fleet in the world.Â He is well prepared to lead this command at this time in STRATCOM's history.”
In his prior post as commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT), Haney was responsible for protecting and defending the maritime interests of the U.S. in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, which covers approximately 100 million square miles of ocean.Â As part of U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Fleet Forces Command, his leadership in PACFLT was instrumental in the DOD’s Asia-Pacific rebalance strategy.Â Â
Supplementing his sea duty, Admiral Haney has held positions as a congressional appropriations liaison officer for the Office of the Secretary of Defense; deputy chief of plans, policies and requirements, USPACFLT; and director of the Submarine Warfare Division and Naval Warfare Integration Group.Â
Now, the Washington, D.C. native’s name and service will be synonymous with USSTRATCOM, in line with former leaders who oversaw the evolution of the command. Â Just as they all shared the same view outside their office windows overlooking the historic missile deck, Admiral Haney will share their legacy of evolving the command as he prepares USSTRATCOM for new realities by implementing more flexible and tailored approaches to strategic deterrence.