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Air Force Nap Time

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Somebody hit the snooze :blink:

Air Force Missile Launch Crew Falls Asleep on the Job

Thursday , July 24, 2008

 

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Three ballistic missile crew members fell asleep while holding classified missile launch codes two weeks ago in North Dakota, the Air Force said Thursday.

 

 

 

The error triggered a military investigation, which found the codes were not compromised.

 

But the July 12 incident comes on the heels of a series of missteps by the Air Force that already had put the service under intense scrutiny.

 

In this case, officials said the crew members reported themselves for the violation of procedure. The crew members apparently were leaving the control center at the end of their shift and took a set of old codes, which are typically replaced after every shift, to a rest area in the facility. Rather than proceeding back to Minot Air Force Base to dispose of the codes, they fell asleep.

 

Air Force officials said the deactivated codes were not at risk of being lost or stolen and that they were always contained at a secure facility.

 

But the Air Force did not initially make the incident public, and on Thursday the Project on Government Oversight issued a report saying the Air Force base was on "security lockdown" after discovering a "nuclear weapon launch code" missing.

 

The Air Force denies the base ever was locked down.

 

"This was just a procedural violation that we investigated," said Air Force Col. Dewey Ford, a spokesman at Patterson Air Force Base in Colorado. "We determined that there was no compromise."

 

The incident was serious enough, however, to prompt an investigation by the 91st Missile Wing, in conjunction with codes experts at the 20th Air Force, U.S. Strategic Command and the National Security Agency.

 

Ford and other Air Force officials said the Minot Air Force-based crew had code devices that were no longer usable, since new codes had been installed in the missiles.

 

The three crew members, who are in the 91st Missile Wing, were in the missile alert facility about 70 miles from Minot. That facility includes crew rest areas and sits above the underground control center where the actual keys can be turned to launch the ballistic missiles.There are no nuclear weapons on site.

 

Officials said the three officers were behind locked doors and had with them the old code components, which are large classified devices that allow the crew to communicate with the missiles. Launch codes are part of the component.

 

"They were awaiting to get back to base and they fell asleep," Ford said.

 

It delivers another blow to the beleaguered Air Force.

 

Missouri Rep. Ike Skelton, the Democratic chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, released a statement Thursday saying the report was "very troubling."

 

"There are many reasons why procedures are in place to govern strict control of our nuclear arsenal. The new Air Force leadership, when confirmed, must take decisive and urgent steps to restore the culture of respect that our strategic weapons deserve and our national security demands. This trend is unacceptable," he said.

 

Last month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced a sweeping shake-up of the Air Force leadership, blaming them for failing to fully address a series of nuclear-related mishaps.

 

At the time, Gates said his decisions to sack the Air Force secretary and chief of staff were based mainly on the blistering conclusions of an internal report on the mistaken shipment to Taiwan of four Air Force fusing devices for ballistic missile nuclear warheads.

 

He also said leadership failure ultimately was behind an August incident in which a B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed with six nuclear warheads and flown from Minot Air Force Base to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.

 

No one has yet to be punished in this latest Minot incident. A continuing review by Minot commanders will determine what, if any, actions will be taken against the crew members.

 

The investigation concluded that the codes had remained secured in their containers, which have combination locks that can only be opened by the crew. The containers remained with the crew at all times.

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Big f***ing deal, as long as they are in the locked box they are safe and also the codes were disabled. So were worth nothing, not even the paper it was on. Before anyone says anything, I worked on nukes and carried codes for 3 years on dispatches. This is media hyped up crap. Not worth the TV time they put it on. CLUELESS media.

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Nap time? :rofl: I too am a AF kid and This has got to be the media with nothing to report but some guys in a locked room with old codes that could never work, I too would have taken a nap time. A Old wise Sarge told me once that when you can get a chance to sleep take it because it may not be available again for a long time.

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in what way this article helps anyone?

IMHO, only the enemy..

if they want to help the enemy so much why don't they get a big sign that says

"Classified Material HERE Come Grab it Quick before they WAKE UP!!"

:blink:

sometimes the media doesn't know when to leave things alone

and let the military to handle it internally

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Nap time? :rofl: I too am a AF kid and This has got to be the media with nothing to report but some guys in a locked room with old codes that could never work, I too would have taken a nap time. A Old wise Sarge told me once that when you can get a chance to sleep take it because it may not be available again for a long time.

Did you notice that the crewmembers reported themselves, as they should. If they take them out back and shoot them, how many other security violations are going to go unregistered? I am of the opinion that the press just makes a big deal out of anything that deals with our nuclear arsenal. As they should. AF is just in the traveling spotlight at this moment and the timing is not good.

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It was just a matter of protocol anyway. One guy awake when it should've been 2. My feeling is had those been active codes they'd not have had a 3rd guy fall asleep. When you know you're guarding junk your vigilance will naturally ebb compared to when you know it's something important.

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Well, I for one don't know enough about their jobs and the way the nuclear sites are run to say if these guys screwed up that badly. Obviously, it's not good to fall asleep at work, but it sounds like they were off duty anyway and always in the secure facility. Good on them for reporting themselves.

 

Maybe the USAF should look at the way they run the sites and maybe adjust the scheduling if they are overworking their crews. Crew rest is a pretty big deal to the pilots, so why not others?

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Rant on, had they been live codes then yeah a field day could be had with this. But they weren't, I can't even begin to tell you how much the media is hyping this up. I would love to know which AF personnel at Minot AFB leaked this to the press. The fact they reported it on themselves make me shake my head. Most of the time you would get a ass chewing and that was that. Now this is out in the public so these guys careers are probably done. Those MCC's work long hours (24 hour shifts) and then have to drive sometimes 2 or 3 hours to get back to the base. They are tired. Every year when I was at FE Warren we had a MCC flip a truck or something because they fell asleep at the wheel after a 24 hour shift.

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Maybe the USAF should look at the way they run the sites and maybe adjust the scheduling if they are overworking their crews. Crew rest is a pretty big deal to the pilots, so why not others?

 

That has been said for years, as you can see, still nothing has been done.

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concur with Dave and Jug. This is hyped up beyond belief.

 

Now, when I came off duty with "various stuff" there were two of us coming back with two armed guards outboard of us. No chance to fall asleep.

 

But the article has buried in it, below the tear line by the way for the short version which shows up all across the "unbiased media", the fact that these guys were; going off-duty, in the above ground facility, had already been replaced, and were just waiting for the ride back to main base. They should not have all fallen asleep, but it is way overblown.

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OFMG: a comfort capsule anyone?

 

He guys, USAF top brass has come up with yet another smart idea:

 

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/07/24/opi.../edairforce.php

 

This really is becoming a comedy series. If it wants to stay airborne, USAF needs some new leadership fast, imho. Hundreds of capable airmen are ready to take their place. How on earth did this kinda leadership emerge? Were they beamed in from outer space? Maybe there was a comfort capsule aboard the Roswell spacecraft already?

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Big f***ing deal, as long as they are in the locked box they are safe and also the codes were disabled. So were worth nothing, not even the paper it was on. Before anyone says anything, I worked on nukes and carried codes for 3 years on dispatches. This is media hyped up crap. Not worth the TV time they put it on. CLUELESS media.

 

I agree completely. Well said brother man!

 

:yes:

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jeez, makes me wish they'd go back to spying on celebreties and leave the military's internal issues alone. It's not like the guys could accidentially launch world war 3 in their sleep...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...right? :blink:

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jeez, makes me wish they'd go back to spying on celebreties and leave the military's internal issues alone. It's not like the guys could accidentially launch world war 3 in their sleep...

 

...right? :blink:

 

right!

 

especially since they were not in the launch capsule!

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AND THEY WERENT EVEN THE REAL CODES, WTF

Right! I tell ya the media needs to get a life! Isn't there more important 'real' news they could report?

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