Air Force unit fails nuke inspection
August 13th, 2013
06:03 PM ET

Air Force unit fails nuke inspection

WASHINGTON (CNN) - An Air Force nuclear missile unit failed a safety and security inspection this week, the second wing of its kind to stumble on tests this year.

The latest involves the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, which operates about a third of the 450 Minuteman III nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles, according to an Air Force statement.

The wing received an "unsatisfactory rating" after making "tactical level errors" during one of several exercises conducted as part of the inspection.

A review is underway to determine accountability.

The errors were not related to the operation of nuclear missiles, one Air Force official said. The precise issue was not disclosed.

The wing, which includes about 3,000 personnel, was not "decertified" to conduct nuclear operations, which would have indicated a more significant failure.

Earlier this year, another wing, based at Minot North Dakota did poorly in an inspection, resulting in the removal of 17 military personnel from their jobs.

The third wing is located at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming.

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  50. S

    I'm Air Force. We've failed inspections due to our lightbulbs not being listed as consumable items. Failures in Air Force inspections dont necessarily mean we cant still operate, it may just mean we arent reading the (mostly) useless fine print.

    August 16, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Reply
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    I suspect there is a huge morale problem inherent in these operations. As a former Marine a few decades ago many of us kept up our moral by hoping that our smooth and deadly skills could and would be brought to bear someday. We repeatedly reminded each other that we were trained to "break things and kill people", and we were repulsed by the idea of peace-keeping assignments. I clearly remember the old saying "nuke 'em until they glow, then shoot them in the dark".

    These Minuteman jocks should be trained to be Thor's very own hammer waiting for Ragnarok. Instead the modern pukes apologize for freedom, wince when criticized, and are ashamed that we ever had nukes or the will to use them. Not me. Despite my jarhead rhetoric, I don't want them to have to be used, but I want us to be prepared and giggly-ass crazy enough to twist the keys and slosh buckets of instant sunshine all over Allah's children or the Chi-coms IF AND WHEN needed.

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  53. denverboy

    Not disclosed...Hummmm
    In other words it's bad and the Air force aint going to tell ya because it's your money that maintains these missle wings and you dont have a right to KNOW anything about them...Even thought the Entire Military is a Public Service ...payed for with Americas hard earned cash....

    August 15, 2013 at 11:09 am | Reply
  54. jerrylax

    with the commander in chief we have...no wonder. He has failed in everything else he has touched, why not this?

    August 14, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Reply
    • Informed

      No doubt the POTUS was out in Montana before the inspection "touching" the soldiers and missles so they'd fail. NOT. Minuteman missles are 40+ years old. Even the incompetent George Bush can't be blamed for them.

      August 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Reply
      • Blake

        No you're wrong, obviously if a military unit fails an inspection it's Obama's fault, just like Trayvon Martin's death and that very untasty coffee I made this morning.

        August 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
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  56. George patton

    how do Unit fails a test without firing a single shot? Let them send couple of missiles on ME and Pakistan and see it they land on target or not !!

    August 14, 2013 at 10:15 am | Reply
    • Pete

      @George,all falls under simulated testing and how they handle their jobs,systems cohesively together under a stressful simulated attack situation..Remember it takes 2 operators to launch an ICBM and sometimes even they can crack under certain situations, they're human you know with the power of catastrophic death,destruction at their fingertips,that's a hell of a lot of responsibility ,stress to be under even when you're not working in the bunker near the launch site...

      August 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Reply
      • Yoli

        They launch the ICBM without any nukes almost every month!

        August 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
      • Pete

        @yoli,and where if I may ask do they test launch missiles even if unarmed...Hey yoli a Minuteman III at 60' long and close to 80,000lbs where does one test launch a monster that size from a silo stateside genius!!And where even more importantly just where does it land whole or in pieces please explain because those are the only missiles that are still in use in silos stateside if you check !!!

        August 14, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
      • Erik

        @Pete the MMIII are tested roughly 3 times a year at Vandenberg AFB, CA. They launch them at the Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific. So yes, they do test them like Yoli said

        August 15, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
      • Pete

        @Erik,yes I understand but like I said not from the silos that are stateside..If they did like I said where would 80,000 lbs of missile go..Yes over unpopulated ocean in the S.Pacific much different than stateside as I said Erik...Please read my post before commenting..

        August 16, 2013 at 9:45 am |
  57. Jess Dopson

    Why would CNN broadcast this type of information? Our enemies are watching and the whole world do not need to know about this. THANK YOU CNN...

    August 14, 2013 at 7:05 am | Reply
    • anonymous

      Most allied and nuclear capable nations are kept aware of everyone else's exercises and their outcomes as part of high level cooperation in anti-proliferation agreements.

      August 14, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Reply
    • Blake

      It's not like we're learning classified information. If you bothered to actually read the damn article before putting up a hilariously nonsensical comment, you'd know the exact causes were not reported by the Air Force and our "enemies" have no knowledge of what caused a failure.

      Nor would a relatively minor inspection failure by one unit have any non-negligible effect on our national security.

      August 15, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • nitejazz

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      August 17, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Reply

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