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Air Force officers relieved of duty over loose nukes
CNN.Com / US ^ | 10/19/2007 | From Barbara Starr CNN

Posted on 10/19/2007 4:58:08 PM PDT by F15Eagle

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A six-week probe into the mistaken flight of nuclear warheads across the country uncovered a "lackadaisical" attention to detail in day-to-day operations at the air bases involved in the incident, an Air Force official said Friday.

The investigation found that "a limited number of airmen" at both locations failed to follow procedures, said Maj. Gen. Dick Newton, assistant deputy chief of staff for operations.

Four officers -- including three colonels -- have been relieved of duty in connection with the August 29 incident in which a B-52 bomber flew from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.

The plane unknowingly carried a payload of nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.

"Nothing like this has ever occurred," Newton said.

"Our extensive, six-week investigation found that this was an isolated incident and that the weapons never left the custody of airmen -- were never unsecured -- but clearly this incident is unacceptable to the people of the United States and to the United States Air Force."

(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: atomic; b52; nuclear; oops

1 posted on 10/19/2007 4:58:26 PM PDT by F15Eagle
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To: F15Eagle

Having followed this since the start, I’m not surprised - it was clearly a breakdown involving multiple parties. They are lucky to receive the punishment they did - it could have gone a lot harder.


2 posted on 10/19/2007 5:12:03 PM PDT by af_vet_rr
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To: F15Eagle
Air Force to punish 70 airmen for nuke flyover.

Whoopsie, heads are rolling for it....

3 posted on 10/19/2007 5:14:43 PM PDT by xJones
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To: F15Eagle
Four officers -- including three colonels -- have been relieved of duty

That's a first. Even the guys on the Enola Gay continued to get pay.

This is BS. There's a reasons three colonels are involved, to be sure. If I was Armadenijad, I'd think twice. Or four times. This is not a co-incidence.

4 posted on 10/19/2007 5:14:55 PM PDT by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: af_vet_rr

I bet they lost their security clearances - which would further prevent them from doing their duty!


5 posted on 10/19/2007 5:15:44 PM PDT by Ken522
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To: F15Eagle

Having been a ‘SAC Warrior’ in a previous life, I’m still left scratching my head as to how this happened. I’m glad to see they took out the requisite senior leadership in addition to the airmen who where at fault. No room for such a culture of complacency in that business. I bet life in the munitions / operations squadrons at KMIB / KBAD sure is fun these days.


6 posted on 10/19/2007 5:16:34 PM PDT by jgilbert63
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To: jgilbert63
As General Terkel said about the Human Reliability program, “don’t condemn the whole system because of one slip up”. I can’t believe this could happen I was a SAC trained killer for 16 years and the security was intense LaMay is turning in his grave.
7 posted on 10/19/2007 5:30:00 PM PDT by boomop1 (there you go again)
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To: F15Eagle

I know he's preparing a warm welcome

for the poor saps who loused this one up ! ! !


8 posted on 10/19/2007 6:24:03 PM PDT by GravityFree (Death is not the end, nor the beginning of the end, but only the end of the beginning.)
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To: F15Eagle

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20071020/D8SCL3980.html

The Air Force said Friday it would punish 70 airmen involved in the accidental, cross-country flight of a nuclear-armed B-52 bomber following an investigation that found widespread disregard for the rules on handling such munitions.


A main reason for the error was that crews had decided not to follow a complex schedule under which the status of the missiles is tracked while they are disarmed, loaded, moved and so on, one official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record.

The airmen replaced the schedule with their own “informal” system, he said, though he didn’t say why they did that nor how long they had been doing it their own way.


Highest among those to be punished are four officers who were relieved this week of their commands, including the 5th Bomb Wing commander at Minot - Col. Bruce Emig, who also has been the base commander since June.

In addition, the wing has been “decertified from its wartime mission,” Newton said.

Some 65 airmen have been decertified from handling nuclear weapons. The certification process looks at a person’s psychological profile, any medications they are taking and other factors in determining a person’s reliability to handle weapons.


9 posted on 10/19/2007 6:57:03 PM PDT by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestu s globus, inflammare animos)
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To: F15Eagle

is that a loose nuke or are you just glad to see me?


10 posted on 10/19/2007 7:03:17 PM PDT by rahbert
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To: finnman69

Screw a complex schedule! How about the Pilot looking in the Bomb Bay on his walk around? How did they compute their weight and balance for takeoff? Did maintenance check the bomb bay on preflight?


11 posted on 10/19/2007 7:19:58 PM PDT by mortal19440
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To: F15Eagle
Image and video hosting by TinyPic A SHF moment Fo'Sho,,,It's on local MSM nearly everyday,,, These guys are goin' someplace vewy,vewy KOLD !!...:0/
12 posted on 10/19/2007 7:38:14 PM PDT by 1COUNTER-MORTER-68 (THROWING ANOTHER BULLET-RIDDLED TV IN THE PILE OUT BACK~~~~~)
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To: Admin Moderator

Duh,,,I posted on this thread,,,didn’t show-up at first,,,
then it did,,,gone again now,,,just a FYI to ya’ll :

Air Force officers relieved of duty over loose nukes

Posted by 1COUNTER-MORTER-68 to F15Eagle
On News/Activism 10/19/2007 7:38:14 PM PDT · 12 of 10

TANKS...;0)


13 posted on 10/19/2007 7:48:54 PM PDT by 1COUNTER-MORTER-68 (THROWING ANOTHER BULLET-RIDDLED TV IN THE PILE OUT BACK~~~~~)
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To: F15Eagle

Why is this being played out on the public stage??? This damn information should never have been made public. It only helps our enemies.


14 posted on 10/19/2007 8:04:13 PM PDT by montag813
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To: mortal19440
"How about the Pilot looking in the Bomb Bay....."

Woulda seen a big hole - the nukes were missiles, under the wings.

"How did they compute their weight and balance...?"

Same as any other flight, they were flying missiles to another base to be decomissioned, only difference between nukes & conventional is the amount of boom contained within.

"Did maintenance check the bomb bay...?"

Again, just an empty cave.

All that said, the ones with nuke warheads are strikingly different in appearance, certainly should have been noticed hanging under the wings for all to see.

15 posted on 10/19/2007 8:20:44 PM PDT by diogenes ghost
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To: diogenes ghost

Even worse. Thanks for the gouge.


16 posted on 10/19/2007 8:23:03 PM PDT by mortal19440
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To: boomop1
I can’t believe this could happen I was a SAC trained killer for 16 years and the security was intense LaMay is turning in his grave.

Amen. I can't imagine how this could happen. There would have to be waaaaayy too many f-ups.

17 posted on 10/19/2007 8:32:25 PM PDT by TankerKC (32570 21R)
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To: montag813

I would assume it has been make public to show us hard working taxpayers that a lot of someones got thier ass kicked over this.

I wonder if the Base Commander and the other COLs got the classic SAC “sundowner” message?

Having an airwing decertified is going to go bad for lots and lots of folks not dinged on the first go-round.


18 posted on 10/19/2007 9:08:20 PM PDT by ASOC (Yeah, well, maybe - but can you *prove* it?)
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To: montag813; shield
Maybe there are some that are not so happy with things.

Dual-maverick situations?

19 posted on 10/19/2007 9:58:18 PM PDT by txhurl (Yes there were WMDs)
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To: txflake

NO ACCIDENT...IN THE LEAST...flown to the staging area for the ME...some lefty let the cat out of the bag therefore CYA went into action...


20 posted on 10/19/2007 10:04:23 PM PDT by shield (A wise man's heart is at his RIGHT hand;but a fool's heart at his LEFT. Ecc 10:2)
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To: txflake; All

Maybe there are some that are not so happy with things.
Dual-maverick situations?
~~~
This “story” is being pushed by the local MSM for all it’s worth,,,It’s just a skrooo-up plain and simple,,,
BAFB has over 1000 Warheads ready to go,,,Minot 800 or so,,,
Since the 60’s,,,
Nobody was transfering any weapon to “strike” at anybody,,,!


21 posted on 10/20/2007 12:17:48 AM PDT by 1COUNTER-MORTER-68 (THROWING ANOTHER BULLET-RIDDLED TV IN THE PILE OUT BACK~~~~~)
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To: txflake; All

Maybe there are some that are not so happy with things.
Dual-maverick situations?
~~~
This “story” is being pushed by the local MSM for all it’s worth,,,It’s just a skrooo-up plain and simple,,,
BAFB has over 1000 Warheads ready to go,,,Minot 800 or so,,,
Since the 60’s,,,
Nobody was transfering any weapon to “strike” at anybody,,,!


22 posted on 10/20/2007 12:22:13 AM PDT by 1COUNTER-MORTER-68 (THROWING ANOTHER BULLET-RIDDLED TV IN THE PILE OUT BACK~~~~~)
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To: 1COUNTER-MORTER-68

Well alrighty, then.


23 posted on 10/20/2007 12:31:33 AM PDT by txhurl (Yes there were WMDs)
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To: ASOC

I’m guessing that every single senior NCO has his papers in to either retire or leave the base ASAP. Even if you had nothing to do with the episode...you will be tied by association to a mess that you had no fault in triggering. This is the mentality of the Air Force today...entire careers are being built up and pushed, with no forgiveness for negatives. As for the wing commander fired...he’ll be sitting down at Barksdale for a month or two...then rotated overseas to some isolated location (probably Turkey)...and given a chance to finish up his career there. He is probably scratching his head...having been at the base for only 120 days and wondering what he did wrong.


24 posted on 10/20/2007 12:58:48 AM PDT by pepsionice
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To: Squantos; Travis McGee
What make you of this, gentlemen?

Click the Gadsden flag for pro-gun resources!

25 posted on 10/20/2007 7:11:37 AM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: af_vet_rr

They got off light.


26 posted on 10/20/2007 9:03:46 AM PDT by Sword_Svalbardt (Sword Svalbardt)
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To: Joe Brower

Beats me. Squantos can make a better SWAG than anybody.


27 posted on 10/20/2007 9:04:29 AM PDT by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: finnman69
Some 65 airmen have been decertified from handling nuclear weapons. The certification process looks at a person’s psychological profile, any medications they are taking and other factors in determining a person’s reliability to handle weapons.

The article is mixing Personal Reliability Program (PRP) with the technicial certification. I suspect most will go through refresher training and then recertification, PRP is not the big issue here.

28 posted on 10/20/2007 9:23:10 AM PDT by Red Steel
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To: pepsionice
I wouldn’t doubt many of them had the paperwork in long before this.

As far as a trip to Turkey - I doubt it - after 90 days you OWN everything! I suspect they are packing their HHG right now and looking for a place to live. I suspect the ‘allowed to retire in lieu of CM’ will be offered.

Don’t forget, this last year, the USAF just laid off 40 thousand folks with another 8 to 10 thousand targeted for this fiscal year. I’d hate to be a mid-carrer tech or master sgt and be facing the Axe....

I’m also *sure* that these massive layoffs had no effect on this situation (/S)

29 posted on 10/20/2007 9:55:18 AM PDT by ASOC (Yeah, well, maybe - but can you *prove* it?)
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To: ASOC
Don’t forget, this last year, the USAF just laid off 40 thousand folks with another 8 to 10 thousand targeted for this fiscal year. I’d hate to be a mid-carrer tech or master sgt and be facing the Axe....

This is in no way an excuse for what happened, but I've often felt that the RIFs we went through with the military starting with the first President Bush and continuing under President Clinton and then the current President Bush would really hurt us, especially those from the early to mid-1990s. Many of those people that left then would have been senior NCOs and Officers, and there was a lot of institutional knowledge that was lost as a result. They had come through the first Gulf War and were at the tail-end of the Cold War. At times it feels like we've had gaps in certain areas - it's very hard to describe though, and maybe I'm wrong.

Granted, some that left probably shouldn't have been in the military in the first place, and it's always good to clear those out, but there were many that were close enough to retirement that were bridged. There were also many that decided to take the packages and jump into a strong civilian job market, since you couldn't always be sure that you would put your 20 or 30 in and then have a strong civilian job market when you got out.
30 posted on 10/22/2007 7:44:50 AM PDT by af_vet_rr
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