KINGS BAY, Georgia (AP) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is telling naval submariners that the U.S. has let its focus on the military's nuclear responsibilities drift a bit, but two reviews are wrapping up and he will be looking at recommendations to strengthen the health of the force.
Speaking at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Hagel says more attention must be paid to the nuclear forces as key to national security.
Hagel has ordered two reviews of the nation's nuclear forces, to find causes for leadership lapses and other problems revealed by a series of Associated Press reports, including security breaches, cheating and other systemic gaps within the force.
Hagel also says the Pentagon is still committed to replacing aging submarines. He said the steep budget cuts are making it difficult to meet spending priorities.