Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Visits LANL

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Admiral James A. Winnefield, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff visited Los Alamos National Laboratory Thursday.  Winnefield is a four star Navy Admiral, and as Vice Chairman is the second highest-ranking U.S. military officer.


Winnefield was at Los Alamos to receive a wide variety of classified briefings that covered the broad spectrum of national security science at Los Alamos.  The Vice Chairman was briefed by the laboratory’s senior leadership including director Charlie McMillan, and Principal Associate Directors Bret Knapp and Terry Wallace.  The briefings included details of the laboratory’s Nuclear Weapons Program and Global Security portfolio.

“It’s an extreme honor to have Admiral Winnefield at the laboratory,” said McMillan. “We are of course very proud of our heritage in the areas of science and technology in support of national security, so it’s a great pleasure to have this opportunity to engage with the Vice Chairman face to face.”

In addition to the briefings, Winnefield was given a tour of the laboratory’s plutonium facility at Technical Area 55. 

As Commander of Carrier Strike Group Two/Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, he led Task Forces in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and maritime interception operations in the Arabian Gulf. He also served as commander, United States 6th Fleet; commander NATO Allied Joint Command, Lisbon; and, commander, Striking and Support Forces NATO. He also served as the commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM).

Winnefeld’s awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, and five Battle Efficiency awards.

Winnefeld graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology and received his commission through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program. He subsequently served with three fighter squadrons flying the F-14 Tomcat, and as an instructor at the Navy Fighter Weapons School.