Washington, 10 October
The deputy commander of US nuclear forces has been fired from his post after being investigated for allegedly using counterfeit chips at a casino, officers have said.
The move was highly unusual against such a senior officer in US Strategic Command, which oversees the country’s nuclear-armed missiles, submarines and bombers.
Vice Admiral Tim Giardina, a career three-star submarine officer, was reassigned from his position as the No. 2 officer at STRATCOM to the navy staff pending the outcome of a probe by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, military officers said yesterday.
General Robert Kehler, the chief of US Strategic Command, had recommended Adm Giardina be reassigned last month and the official decision to relieve him of his duty came this week. The move was approved by Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and President Barack Obama, officials said.
“On 3 September, General Kehler, who is the commander of US Strategic Command, suspended Admiral Giardina,” the command’s spokeswoman Navy Captain Pamela Kunze said.
The recommendation was not announced publicly and the suspension was first reported by the Omaha World-Herald newspaper. Adm Giardina had held his job since December 2011, according to the Navy’s chief spokesman, Admiral John Kirby.