Former Minot AFB commander moves up

A former wing commander at Minot Air Force Base who also was the first commander of Air Force Global Strike Command was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday to lead the U.S. Energy Department’s agency overseeing U.S. nuclear weapons and nuclear-nonproliferation efforts.

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz was confirmed as the Department of Energy’s under secretary for Nuclear Security and administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration. He has accepted the position, a spokeswoman for NNSA said.

As under secretary for nuclear security, Klotz, will be responsible for the management and operation of the NNSA, as well as policy matters across the Department of Energy and NNSA enterprise in support of president Obama’s nuclear security agenda, according to a NNSA news release.

“Frank is a dear friend to Minot,” said John MacMartin, president of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce. “He served as commander here with the 91st. The position he is moving into is critical to the future of our nation’s nuclear enterprise and the ability for the Air Force and Navy to provide strategic deterrence. We don’t think they could have chosen a better individual.

“Lieutenant General Klotz’s confirmation comes at a critical point for the National Nuclear Security Administration,” said Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz in a NNSA news release. “His breadth of military and national security leadership experience makes him uniquely suited to lead the NNSA, fulfilling its commitments to the management and security of the nation’s nuclear weapons, nuclear nonproliferation, naval reactor programs, and nuclear and radiological emergency preparedness efforts.”

The NNSA was established by Congress in 2000 as a separately organized agency within the Department of Energy, responsible for the management and security of the nation’s nuclear weapons, nuclear nonproliferation, and naval reactor programs.

Klotz will work out of Washington, D.C., according to NNSA officials.

Klotz served in a variety of military and national security positions. As the former commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, a position he held from 2009 to 2011, he established and then led a new 23,000-person organization that merged responsibility for all U.S. nuclear-capable bombers and land-based missiles under a single chain of command. From 2007 to 2009, Klotz was the assistant vice chief of staff and director of the Air Staff.

Klotz has led at every organizational level in missile and space operations. He commanded a strategic missile squadron and operations group at Grand Forks AFB and the 91st Missile Group, now 91st Missile Wing at Minot AFB. He also commanded Air Force Space Command’s 20th Air Force and U.S. Strategic Command’s Task Force 214, both at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., and was commander of Air Force Space Command at Peterson AFB, Colo.

Klotz served at the White House from 2001 to 2003 as the director for Nuclear Policy and Arms Control on the National Security Council, where he represented the White House in the talks that led to the 2002 Moscow Treaty to reduce strategic nuclear weapons. Earlier in his career, he served as the defense attache at U.S. Embassy Moscow.

A distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colo., Klotz attended Oxford University at Oxford, England, as a Rhodes Scholar, where he earned a master of philosophy degree in international relations and a doctor of philosophy in politics. He is also a graduate of the National War College in Washington, D.C. Most recently, Klotz was a senior fellow for strategic studies and arms control at the Council on Foreign Relations.

This past May, Klotz was a guest speaker at the nuclear triad symposium held in Minot and hosted by the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce and Task Force 21, Minot’s base retention and new mission committee.