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Robert Work nominated as Pentagon number two

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel nominated Robert Work to be his deputy at the Pentagon on Friday, tasking him with managing the daily details that keep the massive department running.

WASHINGTON: US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel nominated Robert Work to be his deputy at the Pentagon on Friday, tasking him with managing the daily details that keep the massive department running.

Work, second-in-command at the US Navy from 2009 to 2013, is a "nationally recognized strategic thinker, practitioner and expert on national security as well as budgeting, technology, military affairs," Hagel told reporters.

The nominee is set to appear at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on February 13, where members must confirm his appointment as the Deputy Secretary of Defence.

Work, 61, was a Marine officer for 27 years though the early 1990s, before teaching and working at various defence think tanks in Washington.

He is currently a director of the Centre for a New American Security, a think tank with close ties to President Barack Obama's administration.

The Deputy Secretary of Defence steers daily management of a workforce that includes 1.2 million active military and 730,000 civilians and of a budget of around US$600 billion, which is facing cuts after 13 years of war.

If he is confirmed, Work would replace Christine Fox, who has been the interim deputy secretary since the former incumbent, Ash Carter, left in early December.

Work's nomination is the last needed for Hagel to complete a renewal of his senior staff, following the nominations last month of a new budget comptroller, Michael McCord, and the deputy under secretary for political affairs -- the Pentagon number three -- Christine Wormuth.

But with the US military facing several disciplinary and corruption scandals in recent months, raising concerns over a collapse of ethics, Hagel also announced he will soon nominate a general charged specifically with addressing ethics and behaviour in the military.

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