Just out from AP. And you wonder why I keep writing about the legacy of Hiroshima. UPDATE: Ron Rosenbaum has sent along his recent important piece for Slate calling for abolishing the missiles and the silos.
WASHINGTON (AP) — An Air Force unit that operates one-third of the
nation's land-based nuclear missiles has failed a safety and security
inspection, marking the second major setback this year for a force
charged with the military's most sensitive mission, the general in
charge of the nuclear air force told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Lt. Gen. James M. Kowalski, commander of Air Force Global Strike
Command, said a team of "relatively low-ranking" airmen failed one
exercise as part of a broader inspection, which began last week and
ended Tuesday. He said that for security reasons he could not be
specific about the team or the exercise.
ICBM wings undergo multiple types of inspections. The one at Malmstrom
was a "surety" inspection, which the Pentagon defines as "nuclear weapon
system safety, security and control." The point is to ensure that no
nuclear weapon is accidentally, inadvertently or deliberately armed or
launched without presidential authority.
"This unit fumbled on this exercise," Kowalski said by telephone from
his headquarters at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., adding that this did
not call into question the safety or control of nuclear weapons at
Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana.
"The team did not demonstrate the right procedures," he said, and as a result was rated a failure. To elaborate "could reveal a potential vulnerability" in the force, Kowalski said.
In a written statement on its website, Kowalski's command said there
had been "tactical-level errors" in the snap exercise, revealing
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Nuclear Missile System Fails Another Safety Test
is author of a dozen books (click on covers at right), including the new "THE TUNNELS: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill." He was the longtime editor of Editor & Publisher. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @GregMitch