Klotz begins NNSA nomination hearing

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Lieutenant General Frank Klotz (USAF-Ret.) was on the hot seat Thursday morning.
Klotz appeared before the Senate Armed Forces Committee as NNSA administrator nomination hearings got underway. Speculation in Washington centers on the fact that Klotz should not face any major pitfalls in his quest to be the next NNSA administrator.
In prepared remarks, Klotz said the NNSA has a unique and special responsibility for pursuing two different, but complementary principles that have traditionally guided American nuclear weapons policy.
“The first is that the United States must continue to lead international efforts to limit and reduce nuclear arsenals, combat nuclear proliferation and secure nuclear materials across the globe,” Klotz said. “The second is that appropriately-sized nuclear forces still play an essential role in protecting U.S. and allied security interests, even as we seek to reduce the overall number and role of nuclear weapons in our national security policy. As President Obama and congressional leaders have repeatedly emphasized, as long as nuclear weapons exist, we will maintain a safe, secure and effective nuclear arsenal.”
Klotz said if he was confirmed his highest priority would be to ensure that NNSA delivered on the commitments to Congress in sustaining the nuclear weapons stockpile both now and in the future, in conducting leading-edge scientific research, in preventing nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists and would-be proliferators, in supporting the Navy’s nuclear reactor program, in modernizing facilities to meet the demands of the future, and in protecting the safety and security of sites, employees and the public.
“The military services often say that people are their most important asset,” Klotz said. “It’s true; and, it applies to NNSA as well. Highly trained, experienced and motivated scientists, engineers, technicians and security personnel are essential to performing the highly complex and technically challenging tasks associated with the nuclear security enterprise.
“If confirmed, I will be guided by the principle of ‘Mission first, people always.’
To this end, I’ll be an unrelenting champion for the professional development and personal welfare of everyone associated with NNSA—including recruiting and mentoring the next generation of leaders and experts.”