U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel spoke to 130 top performing Airmen on Thursday at F.E. Warren Air Force Base. Hagel was there the boost the moral of the operators of 150 Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles.

"The United States is going to remain committed, strongly committed, to maintaining a capable and effective, safe, secure nuclear deterrent," Hagel told the Airmen. "We’re going to do that, we’re going to continue to do that and we’re going to invest in the modernization that we need to invest in to keep that deterrent stronger than it’s ever been."

Hagel commended the Airmen for their vigilance and thanked them for working so hard in a job he said is often lonely and thankless.

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