Chilton on the Hot Seat:

The Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday grilled Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton, nominated in July to take charge of US Strategic Command. Chilton, who currently heads Air Force Space Command, told the Senators that STRATCOM “has a lot on its plate” and has done “a marvelous job” but he thinks there are two areas that “will take increased focus” now and in the future. One is space, which he said is “no long a sanctuary” and requires the US to be “extra focused” to ensure continuation of the space capabilities US military forces “have become dependent upon.” Second, he said, is the global network, the cyberspace domain. Chilton could not escape the question of the moment. Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) asked about the B-52 nuclear weapons incident, to which Chilton replied that he would want the STRATCOM staff involved in the “inspections of those facilities [Minot AFB, N.D. and Barksdale AFB, La.]” and see the results of the ongoing investigations. Asked by Warner whether these reviews would go beyond the “human error” aspect to look at the current “security check-offs or other security benchmarks that are in place.” Chilton responded, “Absolutely.”