Department of Defense on transfer of 4 Guantanamo detainees to Afghanistan: 'The US is grateful to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for its willingness to support ongoing US efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility' - statement
White House says Defense Secretary nominee Ash Carter underwent long-planned back surgery today, procedure successful; says Carter decided to complete his back surgery before beginning his confirmation process - @markknoller
The Pentagon is telling US military commanders around the world to be on high alert for the release of a Senate Intelligence Committee report on the use of 'enhanced interrogation techniques' by the CIA - @thehill
Photo: Outgoing US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel arrives in Kuwait after an unannounced visit to Afghanistan, where he spoke to a group of US and Polish forces and held a news conference with the president - @jimsciutto
The Department of Defense is an executive branch department of the federal government of the United States charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government concerned directly with national security and the United States Armed Forces. The Department is also the largest employer in the world, with more than 2.13 million active duty servicemen and women as well as their support staff of civilian workers. Adding to the total is over 1.1 million National Guardsmen and Reservists from the four services, bringing the total to just over 3.2 million employees.
The Department of Defense is headed by the Secretary of Defense, a cabinet-level head who reports directly to the President of the United States. Beneath the Department of Defense, are three subordinate military departments: the U.S. Department of the Army, the U.S. Department of the Navy, and the U.S. Department of the Air Force. In addition, four national intelligence services are subordinate to the Department of Defense: the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Other Defense Agencies including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA), all of which are under the command of the Secretary of Defense. Military operations are managed by nine regional or functional Unified Combatant Commands. The Department of Defense also operates several joint services schools, including the National Defense University (NDU) and the National War College (NWC).