Secretary of Defense says Kings Bay vital to future of military

by: Romney Smith Updated:


KINGS BAY, Ga. - Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel took a tour of Kings Bay Submarine Base Wednesday as part of a Southern tour focused on the future of the military.

While speaking to more than 200 sailors, Hagel said the military's focus is changing after being in two major land wars for 13 years. Hagel says the Navy will be used more. 

"We'll pay attention to and prioritize the importance of our nuclear enterprise, what you represent and the importance of what you do every day," said Hagel.

Local sailor John Edwards says it's reassuring to know that the skills the sailors possess are valuable and may be called upon soon. 

"It's important for us to know that someone of his nature, his level in the chain of command, still has us in his view," said Edwards. 

Hagel deployed one submarine to the Persian Gulf as backup during the current crisis in Iraq. Action News asked if a Kings Bay submarine could be deployed next.  

"They are agile, flexible and wherever they're needed they'll be ready to perform, but we don't have any plans that we're prepared to announce," said Hagel. 

He added that anything is possible and he would call upon the Kings Bay if he needed to.   

Kings Bay was the first stop of three planned visits to southern military bases. Thursday, Hagel will visit Eglin Air Force Base, and Friday he'll travel to Alabama to visit Fort Rucker.