This seems like pretty big news, and is yet another one of those things that I know nothing about:
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley and Secretary Michael W. Wynne were forced to resign Thursday during hastily arranged meetings with their Pentagon bosses.
Moseley was summoned from the Corona leadership summit at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, to an early morning meeting at the Pentagon with Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to discuss a report on the Air Force’s problems handling nuclear weapons.
The report, by Navy Adm. Kirkland Donald, director of naval nuclear propulsion, revealed widespread problems and convinced Defense Secretary Robert Gates that senior officials must be held accountable.
Moseley resigned in response.
Later in the morning, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England was dispatched to Wright-Patterson to ask for Wynne’s resignation, sources said. Wynne resigned during the meeting.
At a Pentagon press briefing Thursday afternoon, Gates said his decision to seek their resignations was “based entirely” on the Donald report, which uncovered a “gradual erosion of nuclear standards and a lack of effective oversight by Air Force leadership.”
The same Air Force unit that mistakenly flew nuclear-tipped cruise missiles on a B-52 last summer has failed a nuclear security inspection, according to a Defense Department report.
Security broke down on multiple levels during simulated attacks across the 5th Bomb Wing’s North Dakota base, including attacks against nuclear weapons storage areas, according to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency report, which was obtained by Air Force Times.
Inspectors watched as an airman played video games on his cellphone while standing guard at a “restricted area perimeter,” the report said. Meanwhile, another airman nearby was “unaware of her duties and responsibilities” during the exercise.
Over at Lawyers, Guns, and Money, Robert Farley has more:
It’ll be no secret to the readers of this blog that I believe the problems with the Air Force run too deep to be solved with firings like this; the reason that the Air Force is having difficulty figuring out its roles in the Middle East, its public relations strategy, and its force structure is that it’s an organization without a coherent 21st century mission. It doesn’t help, of course, that the Air Force brass decided to try to seize greater slices of the bureaucratic and procurement pie just as it reached the height of organizational incoherence…
So what exactly is going on? How did we get to this point? Have any of you been following this? Is this simply a leadership issue, or are the problems system-wide? How easily can they be remedied? Can they be remedied, or is this a long-term issue?