Recently on the Senate floor, I recognized the extraordinary service of Admiral Cecil D. Haney, whose tenure as Commander of U.S. Strategic Command, or STRATCOM, at Offutt Air Force Base has come to a close.
With it, Admiral Haney will end his 38-year career as an exemplary officer and outstanding leader in the U.S. Navy.
This nation owes him its deepest gratitude.
I first met Admiral Haney in 2013 when he was nominated to serve as commander of STRATCOM.
Over the past three years, it has been my great pleasure to work with him, and I am grateful for his wise counsel and firm resolve to do what is best for America and for the men and women he leads.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter called STRATCOM the “bedrock” of America’s national security; Admiral Haney ensured that foundation remained firm.
He was a strong advocate for modernization of aging nuclear infrastructure, no small task in a time of tight budgets. He worked closely with Congress.
He gave clear-eyed assessments, such as the statement he delivered to the Senate Armed Services Committee last year that “there is no margin to absorb risk” in plans to modernize our nuclear enterprise.
Admiral Haney helped maintain congressional consensus on following through with our modernization commitments. All Americans should be grateful for this.
Every day, our country relies on its nuclear forces to deter strategic attack on the United States and our allies.
Throughout his 38 years in the Navy, both Admiral Haney and his family made many sacrifices.
These sacrifices are common to all who wear the uniform: dangerous missions, long deployments, time away from loved ones.
Such burdens are a fact of life for our dedicated service members around the world.
This year, I was honored to spend Thanksgiving with some of those service members.
At Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar and Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, I visited with Nebraskans from North Platte, Beatrice, Bellevue, McCook, and Omaha.
These men and women had given up turkey dinners with family, and so much more, to protect our freedom.
Once again this year, I am teaming up with the American Red Cross to help Nebraskans show their appreciation to veterans, members of the military, and their families during the holiday season.
Cards collected at my Omaha office through the Holiday Mail For Heroes Campaign will be delivered to current and former service members in local Nebraska communities: from those serving at Offutt Air Force Base to veterans at VFW posts across the state.
I hope you’ll join me in expressing gratitude for all these Nebraskans have done to make our country safer and stronger.
Over nearly four decades of dedicated service to our nation, Admiral Haney set a strong example for those under his command by faithfully discharging his duties.
Countless service members do the same, every day, for the members of their unit and their community.
Please join me in thanking these faithful men and women.
Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.