The No. 2 officer at the military command in charge of all US nuclear war-fighting forces has been suspended and is under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigation Command for issues related to gambling, officials said today. The deputy commander at US Strategic Command, Navy Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, was suspended from his duties on September 3, according to a spokeswoman. Giardina is still assigned to the command but is prohibited from performing duties related to nuclear weapons and other issues requiring a security clearance, she said.
Two senior US officials familiar with the investigation say it is related to gambling issues. Air Force Gen. Robert Kehler has recommended to Chuck Hagel that Giardina be reassigned, according to the spokeswoman. She said a law enforcement agency, which she would not identify, began an investigation of Giardina on June 16. Kehler became aware of this on July 16, and the following day he asked the Naval Criminal Investigation Service to begin a probe. (Read more Navy stories.)