Lowering the boom: Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday axed two top Air Force honchos, Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley and Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne, in a bid to do some damage control in the wake of the alarming incident last August in which nuclear warheads were mistakenly flown from North Dakota to Louisiana and another incident in which Air Force electrical fuses for ballistic missile warheads were shipped to Taiwan.
AP via Yahoo News:
Gates said an internal investigation found a common theme in the B-52 and Taiwan incidents: ” ... A decline in the Air Force’s nuclear mission focus and performance” and a failure by Air Force leaders to respond effectively.
In a reflection of his concern about the state of nuclear security, Gates said he had asked a former defense secretary, James Schlesinger, to lead a task force that will recommend ways to ensure that the highest levels of accountability and control are maintained in Air Force handling of nuclear weapons.
In somber tones, Gates told reporters his decision to remove Wynne and Moseley was based on the findings of an investigation of the Taiwan debacle by Adm. Kirkland Donald. The admiral found a “lack of a critical self-assessment culture” in the Air Force nuclear program, making it unlikely that weaknesses in the way critical materials such as nuclear weapons are handled could be corrected, Gates said.