Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Air Force Unit's Nuclear Weapons Security Is 'Unacceptable'


AGM-129 ACM - Advanced Cruise Missile mounted on B-52

One would think the folks at Minot Air Force Base had learned their lesson. One would be wrong.
The same Air Force unit at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota that was responsible for mishandling six nuclear cruise missiles last August failed key parts of a nuclear safety inspection this past weekend, according to a Defense Department report.

The 5th Bomb Wing was given an "unacceptable" grade in security of nuclear weapons, according to the review by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. In another category, management and administration, it received a grade of "marginal," based on deficiencies in recording changes that affected the operational status of nuclear cruise missiles and gravity bombs.

Those are two areas where failures last summer allowed a B-52 at Minot to be loaded with six air-launched cruise missiles and flown to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana without the pilots, air or ground crews knowing they contained nuclear warheads.

Note: Headline links to source.

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