Hagel Told 2 Nuke Missile Officers Removed From Duty Due To Drug Probe While Visiting Air Force’s Nuke Force
Moments before he launched a carefully planned pep talk to members of the Air Force’s nuclear missile force, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was undercut by yet another sign of trouble in their ranks: a drug probe of two missile officers.
The hundreds of nuclear missiles that have stood war-ready for decades in underground silos along remote stretches of America, silent and unseen, packed with almost unimaginable destructive power, are a force in distress, if not in decline.
Investigators say the Air Force general fired in October as commander of the U.S. land-based nuclear missile force engaged in “inappropriate behavior” while in Russia, including heavy drinking and rudeness to his hosts.
Key members of the Air Force’s nuclear missile force are feeling ‘burnout’ from what they see as exhausting, unrewarding and stressful work, according to an unpublished study obtained by The Associated Press.
Much of the U.S. East Coast is expected to get a view of a mid-Atlantic rocket launch Tuesday night, when the Air Force and NASA will try to put 29 tiny satellites into orbit, including a smartphone and a satellite built by students.
A jury has acquitted an Air Force officer who once led the branch’s sexual assault response team on charges that he groped a woman outside a Virginia bar.
A woman testified that an Air Force officer who once led the branch’s sex-assault response team groped her outside a Crystal City bar, then asked if she liked it.
Reports of sexual assaults in the military increased by an unprecedented 46 percent during the last fiscal year, the Pentagon said Thursday.
Twice this year alone, Air Force officers entrusted with the launch keys to nuclear-tipped missiles have been caught leaving open a blast door that is intended to help prevent a terrorist or other intruder from entering their underground command post, Air Force officials have told The Associated Press.
The Air Force fired the general in charge of its nuclear missiles on Friday, just two days after a Navy admiral with top nuclear weapons responsibilities was sacked. Both men are caught up in investigations of alleged personal misconduct, adding to a cascade of turmoil inside the nation’s nuclear weapons force.