Skip to comments.Commanders fired in nuke missile cheating scandal
Posted on 03/28/2014 3:07:23 AM PDT by kingattax
WASHINGTON (AP) The Air Force took the extraordinary step Thursday of firing nine midlevel nuclear commanders and announcing it will discipline dozens of junior officers at a nuclear missile base, responding firmly to an exam-cheating scandal that spanned a far longer period than originally reported.
A 10th commander, the senior officer at the base, resigned and will retire from the Air Force.
Air Force officials called the discipline unprecedented in the history of America's intercontinental ballistic missile force. The Associated Press last year revealed a series of security and other problems in the ICBM force, including a failed safety and security inspection at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., where the cheating occurred.
In an emotion-charged resignation letter titled "A Lesson to Remember," Col. Robert Stanley, who commanded the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom, lamented that the reputation of the ICBM mission was now "tarnished because of the extraordinarily selfish actions of officers entrusted with the most powerful weapon system ever devised by man."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
In this case, I approve; It’s not political. They were liars and cheaters, and democrats have no business handling nuclear weapons.
Its not that simple.
I’ve known several SAC people over the years. The one common thing that ALL of them had was that they were totally ‘anal’ when it came to procedures and following the book.
So this particular set of circumstances really raises some questions in my mind.
0 much prefer these types have their fingers on the nuke button:
I’m sure O prefers that, but I prefer the anal types who follow the book exactly and freak out if the “four inch high block letters” for a sign are actually 4.2 inches high.
Or at least, that is the official story. And I no longer believe official stories.
Clearing the deck for thier commie replacements, stacking the deck so to speak
“And I no longer believe official stories.”
No one should. Ever. It’s that simple.
Years ago, my AF years....I had to do a plans update for the unit, and went through the plans book (this was 1992). I came to a SAC regulation...from 1969, which was still current, valid, and intact, with only forty lines of text. Over twenty years had passed, and that forty lines of text had not changed one single bit. At the time, I was in ACC...where regulations were entirely rewritten every two to three years and no one could ever remember what the current procedure or process involved.
I agree on the extreme dedication to SAC regulations....but they were awful simple and short. In this case, I’d be wondering just how complicated they’ve turned these nuke officer regulations into, and if they were asking for trouble with highly complicated material.
Dumbing down everywhere
And, please don’t discount the chances of ineptitude, poor performance, and, bad leadership in cases like these. It happens within our military just as much as it does within any private organization. People would be surprised just how much illegal drug use their is in the military as commanders look the other way and don’t want to address the issue. Don’t want stuff going on the record, you see.
Obama has a very clear mandate on nukes - that there shouldn't be any, at all, anywhere, and if we just give up ours then the rest of the world should follow.
The problem is, can I see him organizing a way of getting rid of the old guard and replacing them with like minded individuals that could work from the inside out to further his cause? Even putting our nation at risk for his ideology? All I have to do is look at what he is willing to do to our economy because of his way of thinking and narcissistic attitude and suddenly anything becomes possible.
How sad is it that an optimist like I was just 7 years ago can actually have such unthinkable ideas that just jump to the forefront of my mind with every story like this I read.
From what I’ve read they shared copies of the test answers.
Its a failure of leadership in development of the testing and qualification system in addition to leadership of the people involved.
They’ve developed a system where anything less then a perfect score and perfect performance ratings is a career ending event.
Yes, and I for one completely trust the obama administration to ferret out any bad leadership and replace those losers with well vetted and superior leadership. If you need further proof, just look at any of obama's other appointments. Not only can we now have the best of the best in charge, we can rest assured that they will be gay and love islam. I will certainly sleep better knowing that our nuclear arsenal will be so much better protected. What could possibly go wrong?
Having spent 10 yrs in the Air Force I’m certain there is ineptitude and poor performance on an individual level and that includes the leaders.
This is part of an overall effort to discredit the nuclear forces so when he pushes for complete disarmament there is popular support.
Alah Akbar, infidel.
Have our ethics really fallen so far that complex regulations are cause for widespread cheating?
I said nothing of the current Admin.
If you think that the U.S. military is void of fault, it’s members pure as the wind driven snow, and, that there is no wrong doing happening within its ranks then you are severely underestimating that situation. Military members are a cross section of the population just as any other. There is good and bad, honest and dishonest, right and wrong sprinkled throughout. It’s not an indictment, just the truth.
To have people busted for cheating does not shock me and the current occupant of the White House has nothing to do with it.
The problem is that there was a culture of fear set up, where everyone felt that the tests had to be 100% perfect or you get fired.
So they cheated. Just like what happens when you mandate testing in schools. Some would rather cheat, since the payoff is great and the risk is low.
And symptomatic of the decline of standards in my Air Force.
From the article:
> No generals are being punished.
One or two cheaters, but it’s hard to believe the entire bunch cheated. While there may have been some cheating, I suspect that was a cover to get them out for some other reason. This smells too much like another muzzy video lie.
Comments brought to mind the concept that “laws easily obeyed are laws simply worded”. At a loss for attribution, but it goes back to the Founders I believe. In our time, it’s SOP for opinions of Justice Thomas.
Beginning with “up or out” promotion policy, a culture of fear in the military is too true. It’s also alive and killing careers of otherwise good folks on civvy street. Saltiness aside, nothing wrong with being in-grade for a hitch or two.
I really do believe that to be absolutely the truth.!!
Good point, and I should have considered that possibility.
In a reasonable exam, there should be no cheating, no tolerance of cheating, and no tolerance of any integrity issues. If they were given a closed book exam on "What page of the manual addresses the obscure topic of . . . quote the entire passage verbatim" then it's a leadership issue and may have been intended to produce this result. Either they would fail the nuclear weapons safety exam and be drummed out for incompetence, or they would be drummed out for cheating.
I was too quick to trust FedGov just because it used to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. I hope I will learn - and that all Americans will learn. FedGov is not worthy of our automatic trust on any issue.
Why are they giving these Officers job-related tests to see if they can do their jobs? The only way to determine if an Officer is proficient is to see how fast he/she can run two miles. That works for the Army.
Indeed. Never EVER believe the official story.
Yes, a running test is appropriate to determine the qualifications of someone launching nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Sarcasm aside, these tests apparently aren’t all that effective either.
> No generals are being punished.
Of course not...they never take responsibility for anything..that’s how they become generals...
Fire the leaders and discipline the cheaters ... wouldn’t it make more sense to discipline the leaders and fire the cheaters? No, some of those cheaters will be promoted to leader.
What is wrong with testing in schools?
For schools, we have the expectation that all kids will achieve a certain grade. Trouble is you have kids in a typical school with a wide spectrum of IQ’s and abilities. Not to mention there is a reward for the school and the teacher to get high scores.
So if you have a class room filled with kids who simply can't do the work, that teacher and school has a huge incentive to cheat. In the lower grades, you also have teachers with much lower IQ (teaching for the most part does not attract the best and brightest).
When you create an incentive to cheat, and have little oversight, you shouldn't be shocked when cheating happens.
This isn't just in government service. Most companies do similar things, with similar results. In short, when the risk/reward to cheat is more than to do the work, you will see cheating.
Pass/fail inspections where anything less than 100% is a failure is the norm in Nuclear Surety Inspections, and that transfers over to regular stand-up testing prior to assuming alert. Reciting rote memorization of rules, meticulous, step-by-step checklists ... these were the norm of SAC, and they continue to be the way the nuclear enterprise is accomplished in the Air Force.
But the Air Force has been struggling for years with this. There is no Cold War to defend against, there is no Soviet Union to deter. The missiles have been "de-targeted". They are incapable of immediate response. But the SAC zero defect mentality remains. The missileers are baby-sitters, guarding an armory, not aiming a weapon.
Combine this with the Millennials' values, where self satisfaction is more important than serving one's country. A Millennial can get self-satisfaction from serving their country if the role is satisfying. Being on the front lines in Afghanistan is more satisfying than sitting in a bunker 60 feet underground in Montana. Operating a Navy ship at sea or an airplane at 30,000 feet is more satisfying than running a checklist on an missile which is not on alert, and guarding against no enemy in particular.
I am not sure if the Navy is having issues with its ballistic missile submarine crews. But the Navy is different, and the submarine crew has the day to day responsibility to operate the submarine.
Ultimately, I think the Air Force ICBM mission needs to be rethought. Perhaps it is time to entertain a "diad" of submarine launched missiles and bombers, last discussed in the 1980s when ICBMs were deemed obsolete and destabilizing because they were susceptible to first strikes.
I agree. Every top level officer who can retire but continues to serve in this administration’s military, stays because he or she agrees with the boss. Those who stay and don’t agree with the boss get kicked aside. Obama is building an army loyal only to him and his puppetmasters.
There are many who simply say “I can’t serve this evil bastard anymore.” Those are the real patriots. It’s sad there aren’t enough to stay and change things.
” Its not political.”
Yep that’s Official Reality.
Over the past two years, the number of such events has been growing, this is not an isolated case. There is a large, forced turnover of personnel in the nuclear arms area.
They are now cleared for working in the Atlanta public school administration.
Nuke missile fired in commanders cheating scandal
Oh ... my ... God in Heaven ... There’s a sign of the Last Days
I imagine they’re ordering extra batches of Crisco for the upcoming incomings too...: )
Clearing the deck for thier commie replacements, stacking the deck so to speak
So you’re perfectly ok with these “officers” lying? You’re perfectly ok with the silos being manned by people who have to cheat to pass an exam? Nice.
Remember. . .it’s not a ‘one mistake’ Air Force, but it sure isn’t a ‘two mistake” Air Force.
That attitude causes more angst and promotion: I’ll-be-safe-and-not-make-a-decision-at-all-cost approach to leadership that is the root cause of many of the problems.
Back in my day, we finished RTU and arrived on the base. The wing commander wanted to meet everyone before they flew his jets.
We (all five of us) were ushered in to his office and he sat there, hands clasped and on his desk, not a hair out of place, not a wrinkle in his flight suite. Stoic face.
Emotionless he went around the room with the disinterested questions “where you from, have you a family, what are your career plans.”
Hardly would listen any of the answers.
Then when done with that, he looked at each of us, eye to eye, observed we all have Senior Pilot wings and he said, “I see by your wings you are experienced, so, I won’t bother with the ‘crime vs mistake speech,’ but let me tell you this, you go out there and drop one of my jets and I think you are wrong, I don’t give a damn what the mishap and accident boards say, I will f*ck you.”
Well. . .”welcome to the F-15E, be prepared to die saving a jet to save MY career, otherwise your career is over.”
Happy Hal: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2006/05/air_force_chief/. . .what goes arounf comes around. .
There are back stories that many of you may not be aware of, and why Major Command is bigtime “gun shy.” It explains why it came down like a ton of bricks:
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A few years ago in 2007, the wing at Minot AFB lost accountability of 6 AGM-129 cruise missiles with nuclear warheads that a B-52 flew to Barksdale, Louisiana. As I recall, these AGM-129s were processed to be de-mil’d or have their nuclear warheads dissociated in accordance with Strategic Nuclear Disarmament Agreement.
I don’t think the public ever found out the details on how or why Minot screwed up, but I’ll give you guys a plausible scenario.
Minot failed to write and publish local Air Force Instructions (AFI) or Air Force Regulations (AFR) to deal with the partially or fully demilling and/or dissociating the W80s from the cruise missiles, or the local instructions were flawed instructions, or someone failed to correctly follow them.
Any who or somehow the nuclear tipped AGM129s got up loaded on the Buff where they were flown undetected as nuclear capable missiles to Barksdale. The air crew did not detect the nuclear AGMs as there was no nuclear weapons custody transfer document to sign? The munitions loaders failed to detect that these AGMs which still had warheads? The munitions line delivery crew that transported them out of storage failed to detect that W80s that were still in place and installed? There were no (or was there?) security forces that escorted the weapons out of the WSA to the flightline? Or did the security forces inexplicably drop there security cordon around the A/C because they believe these were non-warhead cruise missiles?
I think the simplest answer is that these trailerized AGM 129s were schedule to have their nuclear warheads removed. Some how the nuke-tipped cruise missiles with their W80s were mixed up with cruise missiles that were without nukes or something thereof. The loaded trailer and these AGMs were incorrectly documented as demil’d as without warheads. From the very beginning of the transport process, they never thought these missiles were nuclear weapons. I remember a particular AF colonel at Minot who curiously retired about a month earlier before ‘the Minot lost nukes story’ hit the presses. ... Yes, you know who (rhetorical).
And there is more... mess ups that ended general officer careers.
The Air Force in the same year lost or misplaced Nuclear Ordinance Commodity Materials as seen here:
“Audit finds U.S. nuclear weapons parts misplaced”
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And a few may recall that the AF Chief of Staff and the Sec AF were ultimately relieved.
“Air Force Leaders Fired Over Nuke Handling”
“Secretary of Defense Robert Gates fired Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley and Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne on June 5 after a report by Navy Adm. Kirkland Donald highlighted significant oversights in the Air Forces nuclear security practices.
The ousting of Moseley and Wynne followed several incidents in the past year that have heightened concerns over the Air Forces ability to properly maintain and secure its arsenal of land-based ICBMs and nuclear-armed bombers.
Last August, a B-52 bomber flew from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barskdale Air Force Base in Louisiana wrongly and unknowingly armed with nuclear cruise missiles. (See ACT, October 2007.) In March of this year, it was reported that the Air Force had accidentally shipped four nosecone fuses for nuclear missiles to Taiwan in 2006, drawing complaints from China. (See ACT, May 2008.)
Gates action came after another such incident in late May when the 5th Bomb Wing, which is stationed at Minot, received a grade of unsatisfactory in nuclear security during a weeklong, highly anticipated inspection by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). “ -end snip-
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There it is - as to some of this story.
I had dinner a few months ago with two of the officers from this base. They have a different story to tell.
Wiki’s got the details. I was sorta on the correct track. A mixup for sure.
Eric Holder, Lois Lerner, Susan Rice, Lisa Jackson, Jay Carney, James Clapper, Kathleen Sebelius, and other regime players have not gotten fired or even so much as reprimanded, which means the firings of these commanders has NOTHING to do with ethics or wrong-doing.
From my post above.
"I think the simplest answer is that these trailerized AGM 129s were schedule to have their nuclear warheads removed. Some how the nuke-tipped cruise missiles with their W80s were mixed up with cruise missiles that were without nukes or something thereof. The loaded trailer and these AGMs were incorrectly documented as demild as without warheads. From the very beginning of the transport process, they never thought these missiles were nuclear weapons. "
And from Wiki:
"Although the breakout crew in the weapons storage began to inspect the missiles, an early-arriving transport crew hooked up the pylons and towed them away without inspecting or ensuring that the missiles had been inspected or cleared for removal. The munitions control center failed to verify that the pylon had received proper clearance and inspection and approved the pylon for loading on the B-52 at 0925. After taking eight hours to attach the pylons to the aircraft, the aircraft with the missiles loaded then remained parked overnight at Minot for 15 hours without special guard as required for nuclear weapons.
On the morning of 30 August, one of the transport aircraft's flight officers, a Barksdale-assigned B-52 instructor radar navigator closely inspected the six missiles on the right wing only, which were all properly loaded with training warheads, before signing the manifest listing the cargo as a dozen unarmed AGM-129 missiles. The B-52 command pilot did not do a final verification check before preparing to depart Minot.
The B-52 departed Minot at 0840 and landed at Barksdale at 1123 (local times) on 30 August. The aircraft remained parked and without special guard until 2030, when a munitions team arrived to remove the missiles. After a member of the munitions crew noticed something unusual about some of the missiles, at 2200 a "skeptical" supervisor determined that nuclear warheads were present and ordered them secured and the incident reported, 36 hours after the missiles were removed from the bunker at Minot."