Saturday, October 20, 2007

Cherchez la femme: This Does not Happen on Submarines (with video)

First, there had been a high-profile incident back in August 29-30th ( so serious it required President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates to be quickly informed.)

Why has it taken so long to identify the colonel who commanded the 5th Maintenance Group (Minot Air Force Base) responsible for the 5th Bomb Wing's 35 B-52H Stratofortress aircraft as well as weapons maintenance for the 91st Space Wing's Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles? The first mystery colonel (we'll call her #3) commanded 1,200 personnel.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said, "The munitions squadron commander has been relieved of his duties, (we'll call him/her #4) and final action is pending the outcome of the investigation. In addition, other airmen were decertified from their duties involving munitions." source Washington (AFP) Sept 5, 2007 [emphasis mine]

Over a month later, still hiding la femme ...
4 Colonels Lose Their Air Force Commands source Washington Post; October 20, 2007 -
Air Force Maj. Gen. Richard Y. Newton III said that the 5th Bomb Wing commander at Minot, Col. Bruce Emig, was removed from command (#1), along with his chief munitions officer (#4)and the operations officer of the B-52 unit at Barksdale (#2). Also, Air Force Major Gen. Polly A. Peyer has been asked to examine potential individual culpability, Newton said. He did not rule out other disciplinary action, including courts-martial.

Now ...
Col. Todd Westhauser (#2), commander of the 2nd Operations Group at Barksdale Air Force Base, is one of four top officers relieved of duty in the wake of a late-August incident involving a Barksdale bomber and an unscheduled nuclear munitions transfer.Also relieved of command were Col. Bruce Emig (#1), head of the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., and Col. Cynthia M. Lundell (#3), commander of the 5th Maintenance Group at Minot, where the munitions were errantly loaded. Emig and Lundell only assumed their commands in June.
The 5th Munitions Squadron commander at Minot, whose name was not immediately available (#4) , was relieved of command soon after news of the incident first was reported by Gannett's Military Times in early September. source The Shreveport Times October 20, 2007

and, ...
Four officers -- including three colonels -- have been relieved of duty... source WASHINGTON (CNN) October 19, 2007

Does any one else detect a possible cover-up attempt? Could the unidentified officer (#4) be a female USAF Academy graduate? Is the unidentified officer even a colonel? Oh, one more thing ...

Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, said yesterday that she is "satisfied" with the report.

The Brits think a similar incident could not happen on their subs: US nuclear error 'impossible in UK'. Well, the US silent service is equally safe. Here's a YouTube from phinko called Air Force Deployment B-52's (recommend fast forward to -2:18 minutes).

The 5th Brings the Pain!...



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