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NNSA Administrator Presents Gold Medal to Brig. Gen. Harencak

WASHINGTON, D.C. – National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Administrator Thomas D’Agostino today presented the Gold Medal of Excellence for Distinguished Service, the highest honorary award granted by NNSA, to Brig. Gen. Garrett Harencak in recognition of his exceptional leadership and service to NNSA.

Since March, 2009, General Harencak has served as NNSA’s Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application. During much of that time, General Harencak filled in as the Acting Deputy Administrator while Dr. Don Cook awaited Senate confirmation. One of the most important positions in the NNSA leadership team, the Deputy Administrator for Military Application is responsible for directing the Stockpile Stewardship Program – the science-based effort to maintain the safety, security and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile without the need for underground testing.

Administrator D’Agostino recognized General Harencak for his success in leading Defense Programs at a time when the organization was playing a critical role in shaping the Nuclear Posture Review, negotiating the New START Treaty, and putting together the President’s FY2011 Budget Request.

“I want to personally express my deepest gratitude to Gen. Harencak for his exceptional service to NNSA and to the country in helping to keep the American people safe,” said Administrator D’Agostino. “Gen. Harencak is a tremendous leader and a great advocate who continuously displayed an energy and enthusiasm that inspires those who serve with him. His leadership and his partnership with Don Cook have served NNSA well at a critical time in our history. NNSA may be losing a terrific leader, but the Nuclear Weapons Center is gaining a great commander.”

“Gen. Harencak has been energetic partner in steering the course of Defense Programs and the nuclear deterrent, and he has reinvigorated the involvement of members of the armed services in our programmatic execution at NNSA Headquarters,” Cook said. “I have really enjoyed working with him over the last half year, and I look forward to a continuing strong engagement with him as he moves on to head the AF Nuclear Weapons Center in Albuquerque"

Last month, the U.S. Air Force announced that General Harencak will take over the command of Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at Kirtland AFB, N.M. That unit oversees both the 377th Air Base Wing and 498th Nuclear Systems Wing on Jan. 20. For more information on the Nuclear Weapons Center, click here:

Prior to joining NNSA, Harencak was the Commander of the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Mo. Harencak entered the Air Force in 1983 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. His assignments have included aircraft command of the B-52; instructor pilot and squadron command in the B-1B; a tour in weapon systems requirements; aide to the Commander of U.S. Central Command; Director of the Headquarters U.S. Air Force Executive Secretariat; and Deputy Director of Requirements, Headquarters Air Combat Command. General Harencak has also commanded the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess AFB, Texas. The general is a command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours in various strike and training aircraft.

For photos from the award ceremony, please click here.

For video from the award ceremony, please click here.

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation’s national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.