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Unacceptable — Why Now?
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Fifth Bomb Wing insignia

The Associated Press reports that the Air Force wing in nuclear goof has more trouble

BISMARCK, North Dakota (AP) — The Air Force wing blamed for a foul-up in which a bomber mistakenly flew to Louisiana armed with nuclear missiles will have to be retested after coming up short in an inspection.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the Air Force conducted a weeklong inspection of the Minot Air Force Base’s 5th Bomb Wing beginning May 16, said a base spokeswoman, Maj. Elizabeth Ortiz.

“It was a very thorough and important inspection that highlighted areas for improvement, especially in areas of training and discipline,” Ortiz said. “That’s what we’re working on and that’s where we’re focusing on.”

The Air Force said it would not release the inspection findings, saying the report was classified. The Air Force Times, citing a copy of the report, said the base received an unsatisfactory grade and inspectors found security breakdowns during mock attacks at the base.

The Air Force Times said inspectors saw a security forces airman playing video games on his cell phone while standing guard at a restricted area. Another airman nearby was “unaware of her duties and responsibilities” during the exercise, the newspaper said.

The 5th Bomb Wing is one of the oldest units in the Air Force. It’s motto is in Hawaiian because it was originally formed in Hawaii in 1919. In 2000 it won an Omaha, which is a very big deal for SAC units, and now it can’t even perform facility security‽

They knew this was coming and they weren’t prepared. This is obviously a total failure of leadership. I don’t know what they are teaching in the Air Force Academy these days, although many reports would make me believe that evangelical Christian misogyny is the basis for the “honor code”, but it obviously isn’t working.

It is time for the Air Force Chief of Staff, commanders of the Air Combat Command, 8th Air Force, and the 5th Bomb Wing to be replaced. If that doesn’t produce an improvement, the Air Force may not deserve to survive as a separate entity.

This definitely did not happen under the Strategic Air Command.


1 Kryten42 { 05.31.08 at 7:54 pm }

No. It wouldn’t have happened under SAC, I know for a fact. Those airmen would have been shoveling snow in Alaska for the rest of their very limited service, not that it would have happened then. They would have been a lot more serious (and sh*t scared of their superiors) to take guard duty at a nuclear facility so lackadaisically. This is just totally pathetic, and not at all unexpected in the USA today. I would gamble everything I own that the rot is a LOT worse than is being reported! I’ve said before, it will take generations to fix this mess, if it can be fixed now. The list of problems is now so long that almost every institution in the USA needs to be completely stripped down and rebuilt. But where do you find people who haven’t been corrupted by those institutions to fix them and run them properly.

I’m only surprised that the Military units there don’t have *Political Officers* yet ala USSR. Oh… wait… they are called Commanders there. They can’t even be honest about that!

2 Bryan { 05.31.08 at 8:33 pm }

When you let politics determine promotions, this is what you get – incompetence.

About half the birds I flew on belonged to SAC, and you did things by the book or there were places in SAC you could be sent that would make Minot, South Dakota look like Hawaii – I know because I flew out of them, Shemya for a start.

Once the people wearing eagles and stars figure that they can be sweeping flight lines if they want their retirements, things pick up.

Airmen don’t pull this garbage unless they know there’s no penalty. That only happens if there is rot at the top.

3 Kryten42 { 06.01.08 at 12:29 am }

Check out this movie. Helps explain things.

War Made Easy

How Presidents & Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.
Narrated by Sean Penn

War Made Easy reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to expose a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq. Narrated by actor and activist Sean Penn, the film exhumes remarkable archival footage of official distortion and exaggeration from LBJ to George W. Bush, revealing in stunning detail how the American news media have uncritically disseminated the pro-war messages of successive presidential administrations.

War Made Easy gives special attention to parallels between the Vietnam war and the war in Iraq. Guided by media critic Norman Solomon’s meticulous research and tough-minded analysis, the film presents disturbing examples of propaganda and media complicity from the present alongside rare footage of political leaders and leading journalists from the past, including Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, dissident Senator Wayne Morse, and news correspondents Walter Cronkite and Morley Safer.

4 Bryan { 06.01.08 at 12:54 am }

The problem was that in World War II the journalists were generally told the truth, and trusted not to reveal too much. There was some spinning going on, but everyone in the system knew the truth, and would report it later.

In Vietnam the lies started. This was the shift from public affairs officers to propaganda officers, and after the press discovered they were being lied to, the gentlemen’s agreement of World War II was tossed aside.

The military reacted by instituting a program to train better liars, rather than returning to the tried and true system of WWII.

After a long break on the war front, the people who represented the media didn’t have the training to deal with the military. You had the embarrassing press conferences during Gulf War I, when correspondents didn’t understand the most basic things about the military and got played like a cheap piano by the military briefers.

The whole “embedding” operation was a PR stunt. Journalists weren’t “embedded” in World War II, they just went along and reported what they saw, after it was read by a military censor. Operational details were all that was removed.

In the current mess, the military tightly controls what is seen, and the media produces PR pieces for the military, to order.

There’s a reason I keep putting a crossed out MAC-V before I mention MNF-I, because the Multinational Force-Iraq briefers are the same as the Military Assistance Command-Vietnam – agitprop professionals, trained to bend reality to their own purposes. Hell, I don’t even trust their name tags or the service strip.

5 Kryten42 { 06.02.08 at 1:41 am }

I agree, and understand. We have our own *skeletons*. But I am having the last laugh now! 😀 I have been waiting a long time for the 30 year ‘official secrets act’ gag order on certain things I know about to expire, and the first of them happened last week1 😀 People here are absolutely aghast, stunned even, to learn that the most incompetent *intelligence* (official designation use ONLY) organisation known to man, ASIO, was possibly, maybe, might have been, infiltrated by the USSR! :O Shock! Horror! LMAO

Seems a few of the other Intel org’s around the World failed to pick up subtle clues! Like the fact that whenever anyone asked us where we go to learn of something or other that was happening here or the UK or USA, we always said (straight faced) “Go ask the Russians.” Duh! LOL And possibly the fact that certain ASIO operatives often visited a quint little Russian Restaurant in Sydney, might have been a clue. 😉

But… I still have to wait a few more years until the REALLY good stuff is released!! Some of that will be so heavily redacted, even the page numbers will be blackened! LOL But… I can fill in the blanks, with pleasure!

And, on the topic of ‘Unacceptable’, I came across this:

Or perhaps we really do want to be known for maiming children?

On Friday, 111 nations, including major NATO allies, adopted a treaty that sets an eight-year deadline to eliminate stockpiles of cluster arms — pernicious weapons that scatter thousands of small bombs across a wide area, where they pose a long-term deadly threat to innocents. The Bush administration not only failed to sign the treaty but vigorously opposed it…. The campaign to ban cluster munitions, pressed by human rights activists, never attained quite the high profile of the one to ban land mines, a treaty that Washington also refused to sign. But the two weapons have this in common: Both wreak more damage on civilians than soldiers and present a threat long after war ends. Cluster munitions, fired from aircraft or artillery, spray small “bomblets” over an expanse the size of two or three football fields. Many do not explode on impact but can be easily triggered by unsuspecting civilians. The most appalling of these devices can look like a desired object — a can of food or a toy.

So… where is that moral high ground then? Just asking.

6 Bryan { 06.02.08 at 1:48 pm }

Cluster weapons and mine fields are the biggest danger in any war because they don’t go away. It is rumored that some people who have had to leave aircraft over unfriendly territory waded 75 kliks through swamp and jungle because there was no safe way of approaching a fortified strong point due to the mine fields.

When I was a child in Germany in 1958 they were still digging up ordnance in the local area, and they will never run out of it in Southeast Asia and Lebanon.

It really isn’t that effective, and is primarily a terror weapon – I know it scared the hell out of me when I encountered it. I have a relative on a disability retirement because of it.

It more World War I crap from people who can’t figure out that we are not going to be fighting that kind of war again. It is much easier, safer, and more effective to spread detection sensors and use directed fire to protect a hard point.

These people are hellbent on replacing al Qaeda on the top of the list of terrorists.

7 Kryten42 { 06.04.08 at 7:38 pm }

I saw a demonstration of a nasty piece of work the UK had called the JP233. It was designed to take out runways and was unusual in that it wasn’t a single large cluster munition, but a pair of pods attached to a Tornado. It would release 30 cratering 2-stage bomblets, and over 200 anti-personnel land mines (I forget the exact number). Some mines would detonate at preset or random intervals, others would explode with a proximity or vibration sensor. The UK tried to sell a modified version for the F-111’a but were never successful. We preferred the French BLU-107 Durandal which simply made a huge crater under the runway that was very difficult to repair in a short time. And it didn’t have AP mines!

Now that the Brit’s have signed on to the Land Mines Treaty, they are dismantling the stockpiles of JP233’s. They last used them in Iraq during Desert Storm.

8 Kryten42 { 06.04.08 at 7:41 pm }

Oh, I just remembered… they sold many JP233’s to the Royal Saudi Air Force, who are keeping them in their inventory (they refuse to dismantle them). They have other uses than runways for the unscrupulous. Nice people for allies…

9 Bryan { 06.04.08 at 9:36 pm }

I don’t know about their technical services, but Saudi pilots scare the hell out of me. They have a tendency not to pay a lot of attention to instruments. They are trained locally, and they have a rather high “aircraft incident” rate.

If their EOD people show the same level of attention, dismantling anything could be a problem.

10 Kryten42 { 06.05.08 at 8:26 pm }

LOL That’s so true Bryan! 😀

To be honest, after talking to a retired Brit engineer friend who used to work on many military projects there, he said the main reason the Brits were ready to get rid of them is that they are unstable. They lost two Tornado’s under *mysterious* circumstances carrying these. 😉 Apparently (he said) one or more mines could become active prematurely, and if it happens to have a vibration or proximity sensor… bye, bye. Also, the pilots hate them! LOL They have to fly low and straight down an enemy runway while the pods dispense! And scooting up after release with all the bomblets exploding, lights up the departing aircraft nicely! Whoever thought these up, obviously never faced combat.

So, giving these to the Saudis may not be such a bad thing in the end. LOL

11 Bryan { 06.05.08 at 9:56 pm }

My Dad created a explosive bolt back in the 1950s so pilots could dump things like that, rather than trying to land with them still attached if the standard release failed. The biggest problem with it was making sure it only worked when you wanted it to, but it is still in use as far as I know.

As I remember the problem, the weapons didn’t arm until you were airborne, but they didn’t have a way of disarming them, so they would add to the excitement if you couldn’t dump them.

12 It’s A Start — Why Now? { 06.06.08 at 7:47 am }

[…] Command, Eighth Air Force, and Fifth Bomb Wing also need to be shown the door, to prevent another unacceptable […]