USAF strips 17 Nuke-launch Officers: These are Whom 'We handed over' the Fate of Mankind to?Submitted by AnCapMercenary on Wed, 05/08/2013 - 16:57
Can y'all imagine if any one of these guys went 'postal?'
US air force strips 17 officers of power to launch nuclear missiles
Nuclear missile unit's deputy commander says it is suffering from 'rot' within its ranks in leaked internal email
Dominic Rushe and agencies
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 8 May 2013 10.35 EDT
The US Air Force has stripped an unprecedented 17 officers of their authority to oversee nuclear missiles, after a string of failings that the group's deputy commander said stemmed from "rot" within the ranks. The suspensions followed a March inspection of the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, that resulted in a "D" grade for the team tested on its mastery of the Minuteman III missile launch operations system.
"We are, in fact, in a crisis right now," the group's commander, Lieutenant Colonel Jay Folds, wrote in an internal email that was obtained by the Associated Press and confirmed by the Air Force. The Air Force had publicly described the inspection as a success.
The news follows a series of incidents in recent years that have uncovered major problems with the oversight of the US's nuclear arsenal. In 2007, airmen at Minot accidentally loaded a B-52 with six nuclear weapons. The aircraft then flew to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. In another incident, nuclear weapons parts were mistakenly shipped to Taiwan. The defense department learned of the error in 2008, 18 months after the fuses for nuclear warheads were shipped.
Oh, and remember this little 'mishap' from 2007, all coincidentally around the time when Iran War Propaganda was the loudest? The same Minot, ND USAF Base:
From Barbara Starr
Sept. 5, 2009
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Six nuclear warheads on cruise missiles were mistakenly carried on a flight from North Dakota to Louisiana last week, prompting a major investigation, military officials have confirmed.
A B-52 is seen on the ground at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, in this file photo.
The plane took the cruise missiles from Minot Air Force Base to Barksdale Air Force Base for decommissioning Thursday, the Air Force said.
"This is a major gaffe, and it's going to cause some heads to roll down the line," said Don Shepperd, a retired Air Force major general and military analyst for CNN.
By Joby Warrick and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Just after 9 a.m. on Aug. 29, a group of U.S. airmen entered a sod-covered bunker on North Dakota's Minot Air Force Base with orders to collect a set of unarmed cruise missiles bound for a weapons graveyard. They quickly pulled out a dozen cylinders, all of which appeared identical from a cursory glance, and hauled them along Bomber Boulevard to a waiting B-52 bomber.
The airmen attached the gray missiles to the plane's wings, six on each side. After eyeballing the missiles on the right side, a flight officer signed a manifest that listed a dozen unarmed AGM-129 missiles. The officer did not notice that the six on the left contained nuclear warheads, each with the destructive power of up to 10 Hiroshima bombs.
The 2007 United States Air Force nuclear weapons incident occurred at Minot Air Force Base and Barksdale Air Force Base on August 29–30, 2007. Six AGM-129 ACM cruise missiles, each loaded with a W80-1 variable yield nuclear warhead, were mistakenly loaded on a United States Air Force (USAF) B-52H heavy bomber at Minot and transported to Barksdale. The nuclear warheads in the missiles were supposed to have been removed before taking the missiles from their storage bunker. The missiles with the nuclear warheads were not reported missing and remained mounted to the aircraft at both Minot and Barksdale for a period of 36 hours. During this period, the warheads were not protected by the various mandatory security precautions required for nuclear weapons.
The incident was reported to the top levels of the United States military and referred to by observers as a Bent Spear incident, which indicates a nuclear weapon incident that is of significant concern but does not involve the immediate threat of nuclear war. The USAF has yet to officially classify the incident.