Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Air Force sidelines 17 ICBM launch officers

The Air Force stripped an unprecedented 17 officers of their authority to control — and if necessary launch — nuclear missiles after a string of unpublicized and unacceptable failings, including a potential compromise of missile launch codes.

"The nuclear air force is suffering from a deep malaise caused by the declining relevance of their mission since the Cold War's end over 20 years ago," said Bruce Blair, a former Air Force ICBM launch control officer in the 1970s.

"Minuteman launch crews have long been marginalized and demoralized by the fact that the Air Force's culture and fast-track careers revolve around flying planes, not sitting in underground bunkers baby-sitting nuclear-armed missiles."