AP Exclusive: Air Force sidelines 17 nuke officers

One has to sometimes wonder if this is part of a broader ‘change’ of the US military, as literally dozens of high ranking officials have been replaced by the Obama administration over the last few years for unclear reasons.

WASHINGTON     (AP) — The Air Force stripped an unprecedented 17 officers of their authority to control – and, if necessary, launch – nuclear missiles after a string of unpublicized failings, including a remarkably dim review of their unit’s launch skills. The group’s deputy commander said it is suffering “rot” within its ranks.

We are, in fact, in a crisis right now,” the commander, Lt. Col. Jay Folds, wrote in an internal email obtained by The Associated Press and confirmed by the Air Force.

Asked about this at a Senate hearing Wednesday, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, the service’s top official, explained the problem by stressing that launch control officers are relatively junior in rank – lieutenants and captains – and need to be reminded continually of the importance of “this awesome responsibility” for which they have been trained.

Donley said commanders must “ride herd” on the launch crews, and he said the Minot revelation shows that the Air Force has strengthened its inspection system. He said he is confident that the nuclear missile force is secure.

The tip-off to trouble was a March inspection of the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., which earned the equivalent of a “D” grade when tested on its mastery of Minuteman III missile launch operations. In other areas, the officers tested much better, but the group’s overall fitness was deemed so tenuous that senior officers at Minot decided, after probing further, that an immediate crackdown was called for.

Full article: AP Exclusive: Air Force sidelines 17 nuke officers (AP)

3 responses to “AP Exclusive: Air Force sidelines 17 nuke officers

  1. A fish rots from the head down. If one or two were canned, I’d say it was their fault. When you have seventeen essentially being sacked, there’s a leadership problem. Believe Lt Col Folds and the rest of unit management need to figure out why so many of their young officers have basically given up. Even if these officers complete their retraining, they’ll never buy in to the mission. They’ll do what they need to do to get by until the first chance they can get out of the Air Force. And if you have seventeen young officers canned in the unit, how many others are unhappy and dispirited? I’d say some senior officers need to go, too. They should have seen the “rot” and stopped it but didn’t. They failed in their duty just as much as the junior officers.

    • You are correct. There issues have been going on for years. Time to bring in new leadership from the squadron CC on up