Friday, August 15, 2008

Minot Nuke Handlers Pass Re-inspection

By Michael Hoffman - Staff writer: Air Force Times
Posted : Friday Aug 15, 2008 15:38:43 EDT
The 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., passed its defense nuclear surety re-inspection Aug. 15, Air Combat Command officials said.

“Minot went through a very tough re-inspection over the past few days,” ACC Inspector General Brig. Gen. Joseph Reynes said. “I can tell you the 5th Bomb Wing performed in an exceptional manner during this re-inspection. Every airman met the demanding standards required by our Air Force and Air Combat Command.”

Inspectors failed the wing in May after multiple nuclear security and logistics movement errors. The May inspection was the first since last August, when airmen mistakenly loaded six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles on a B-52 that flew to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., where the plane sat on the flight line unattended for hours.

Defense Threat Reduction Agency inspectors gave the wing an “unsatisfactory” after the weeklong inspection concluded May 25. According to their report, inspectors found one security forces airman playing video games on his cell phone while standing guard at a “restricted area perimeter” and another airman who was unaware of her “duties and responsibilities,” among many other errors.

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Poland and U.S. sign missile shield deal despite Russian objections.

CNN) -- Poland and the United States have signed a preliminary deal to place part of a U.S. ballistic missile defense system in Poland, a plan that has drawn sharp objections from Russia.

"We believe that missile defense is a substantial contribution to NATO's collective security," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. "So we are pleased with the development."

The Bush administration has long wanted to put missile interceptors in Poland. The interceptor rockets would be linked to an air-defense radar system in the Czech Republic; officials there agreed in April to take part in the system.

In Moscow, a top defense official in Moscow took a dim view of the development.

Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of staff of the Russian armed forces, called it "a very serious question."

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