Skip to comments.2 on nuke missile crew implicated in drug probe
Posted on 01/09/2014 6:15:32 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
WASHINGTON In the latest headache for the Air Forces nuclear mission, two missile combat crew members in the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, have been implicated in a narcotics investigation, a defense official speaking on the condition of anonymity said Thursday.
The two officers, who operate Minutemen 3 missiles, have lost access to classified information while the Air Force investigates, the official said.
Just two months ago, the unit was awarded an overall excellent rating after a weeklong inspection conducted by Air Force Global Strike Command, the Air Force reported.
However, In August, officials relieved the missile wings security officer after a failed a safety inspection.
Air Force nuclear operations have been under scrutiny lately on numerous fronts. ICBM commander Maj. Gen. Michael Carey was removed as head of the 20th Air Force in October for his behavior during a trip he led to Russia. According to an investigation by the Air Force, Carey was publicly drunk, socialized with suspect women and was frequently rude to his hosts.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press in November published the results of a draft study for the Air Force that suggested widespread burnout among nuclear launch officers and said court martial rates in the missile force were twice that of the Air Force as a whole. The Air Force tasked the RAND Corp., a federally-funded think tank, with the study because of concerns about rising misconduct.
Earlier last year, the Air Force announced in May it had disqualified 17 officers from controlling nuclear missiles after the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., received a D rating during an inspection.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., on Thursday, was briefed on the situation, according to a defense official.
Active Duty/Retiree ping.
Wow, I feel so much better now that Chuck Hagel is on the case!
#1 I thought once DADT was repealed, "suspect" women were okay to socialize with?
#2 being frequently rude to Russians......is this any worse than the SoS giving the russkies a "reset" button that actually says "overcharge?"
#3 Publicly drunk? This is a problem in Russia? I would've thought, when in Rome, er Moscow - you know, do as the Moscowans do - or something. Maybe being "publicly drunk" is a problem as a Chair Force thing? Being publicly drunk as a Marine or sailor, is a requirement.
1) The overall "excellent" rating would have been either an IG or 3901st visit. Each evaluates the wing's readiness the IG is more procedural while the 3901st is more mission technical. In either case, the award of "excellent" was independent of the relief of the wing security officer.
2) There is no direct relationship between security and safety. Somewhere in the in the reporting something is messed up because there is a wing safety function which would be accountable for gross safety problems as implied in the story.
3) The reference to the Minot wing getting a "D" rating is totally alien to me. In my experience, the ratings were in words like: Excellent, Good, Marginal, Fail. The results were typically represented in colors too where blue was outstanding acceptable was green marginal was yellow and failure was red. Personally I never saw a letter grade.
With all that said and done, since Air Combat Command adheres to a two person policy, one crewmember will go down with the other regardless of complicity in actual drug use. They are dealt with as a crew. Shame on them for allowing this to happen. Too bad that criteria apparently doesn't apply to dim politicians like the CiC for example.
Ok, I’ll be the first to say it.
In the Obama adminstration, competence or incompetence is NEVER NEVER AN ISSUE OR CAUSE FOR TERMINATION.
Political considerations is the only thing that is important to Obama.
Yes, I think it is that bad and we need to be concerned that our nukes may be used as a threat against us given that disarming the citizens seems not to be a feasible option.
I’m not sure what they are planning but they want to make sure they are not outgunned.
Following our leaders into moral bankruptcy. Through academic linguistic activism, even our language has been used in efforts to cement the decline.
“Hey, man. I wonder what would happen if I pushed this button.”
“Go ahead and let’s see.”
“Wow, man! Look at that thing go! And look at all the pretty colors!”
So "suspect" women would be those that require a package check?
That’s what I’d consider “suspect.”
do you remember this? it doesn’t matter if they are ready or not.
Yeah, they got loaded, plugged into the ‘WOPR’ and away they went!!
Good post and, as a retired ICBM ops type, I salute your service as the maintainers kept ‘em running in all kinds of weather.
3901st went away (unfortunately) in mid-1990’s. You’re right about the safety / security relationship as they were two separate entities. I think they might have stated “security” instead of nuclear “surety” inspection (NSI) which, in that case would involve safety.
Outstanding (blue), Excellent (green), Satisfactory (white), Marginal (yellow) and Unsatisfactory (red) were the ratings.
I ate at the Missouri River Diner the last time I was at Malmstrom in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s. Great place in Big Sky Country.
And thank you for your service and dedication. I assume you are a member of AAFM if not, it's a good organization to link up with old friends.
At least 10 more officers are now under investigation according to AP.
From Lakenheath to other bases CONUS.
AIR FORCE DRUG PROBE GROWS TO 10 OFFICERS
An Air Force investigation into alleged drug use in the ranks has expanded to include 10 officers at six bases in the U.S. and Britain.
Nine lieutenants and one captain are being investigated for illegal possession of recreational drugs, Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Brett Ashworth said Friday. The case began with the investigation of two officers at Edwards Air Force Base in California and quickly widened to several other bases because of the airmen’s contacts with others about drug possession, he said.
The probe surfaced Thursday as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visited F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming to give a pep talk to members of the nuclear missile force. Initially, officials revealed that two nuclear launch control officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana were being investigated for drug use.
On Friday, Ashworth said the probe now includes officers at Edwards and Malmstrom as well as at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado, Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and Royal Air Force base Lakenheath in eastern England, which hosts U.S. Air Force units and personnel.
No other details about the investigation, which is being conducted by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, are being released.