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BREAKING 6-5-08 Top Air Force Brass Ousted Over Loose Nukes & Lax Security Measures
Friday, Jun 06, 2008 9:50am

WASHINGTON, D.C.  From CNN  (By: Tom Pace, Talk of the Town)  BREAKING MILITARY NEWS  12:50am 6-6-08  Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynn and his Chief of Staff, General T. Michael Moseley were forced to resign Thursday, June 5th, 2008. 

In an almost unprecedented move, U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates asked for the pair's resignations in light of a series of incidents, which according to CNN, included the August, 2007 flight of a B-52 bomber that flew across the country with nuclear weapons.

"Focus of the Air Force leadership has drifted" in terms of handling nuclear weapons and equipment, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.

In August of 2007, a B-52 bomber flew from North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, Louisiana with the crew unaware that six nuclear-tipped missiles were on board. Four officers were relieved of duty afterward, including three colonels. 

Gates also cited this year's discovery that components designed to arm and fuse nuclear warheads were accidentally shipped to Taiwan in 2006. 

Critics also cite last month's news that the Air Force's 5th Bomb Wing failed a defense "nuclear surety" inspection -- despite having months to prepare and being under close scrutiny after the previous incidents. The inspection found deficiencies in the wing's ability to protect its part of the nation's nuclear stockpile. 

The resignations come after a report on a Navy admiral's investigation that criticized the Air Force's reactions to the incidents. 

Gates said the report "depicts a pattern of poor performance" in which Air Force brass didn't act to improve security after mishaps and Air Force personnel handling nuclear weapons consistently failed to follow existing rules.

Air Force leaders "not only fell short in terms of specific acts, they failed to recognize systemic problems, to address those problems or, when beyond their authority to act, to call the attention of superiors to those problems," Gates said.

 


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