- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
Thursday, Sep. 06, 2007 at 1:54 PM
WASHINGTON — A B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed with six nuclear warheads and flown for more than three hours across several states last week, prompting an Air Force investigation and the firing of one commander, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.
Sept. 5, 2007, 6:10PM
By PAULINE JELINEK Associated Press Writer
The mistake was so serious that President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates were quickly informed and Gates has asked for daily briefings on the Air Force inquiry, said Defense Department press secretary Geoff Morrell.
He said Gates was assured that "the munitions were part of a routine transfer between the two bases and at all times they were in the custody and control of Air Force personnel and at no time was the public in danger."
Rep. Ike Skelton, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, called the mishandling of the weapons "deeply disturbing" and said the committee would press the military for details. Rep. Edward J. Markey, a senior member of the Homeland Security Committee, said it was "absolutely inexcusable."
"Nothing like this has ever been reported before and we have been assured for decades that it was impossible," said Markey, D-Mass., co-chair of the House task force on nonproliferation.
The plane was carrying advanced cruise missiles from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., on Aug. 30, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of a Defense Department policy not to confirm information on nuclear weapons.
The missiles, which are being decommissioned, were mounted onto pylons on the bomber's wings and it is unclear why the warheads had not been removed beforehand.
According to the officials, the weapons are designed with multiple safety features that ensure the warheads don't accidentally detonate.
Arming the weapons requires a number of stringent protocols and authentication codes that must be followed for detonation. And they are designed to withstand a significant impact, including an aircraft crash, without detonating.
The Air Combat Command has ordered a command-wide stand down on Sept. 14 to review procedures, officials said. They said there was minimal risk to crews and the public because of safety features designed into the munitions.
In addition to the munitions squadron commander who was relieved of his duties, crews involved with the mistaken load — including ground crew workers — have been temporarily decertified for handling munitions, one official said.
The investigation is expected to take several weeks.
The incident was first reported by Military Times newspaper group.
"There is no more serious issue than the security and proper handling of nuclear weapons," Skelton said in a statement Wednesday. "The American people, our friends, and our potential adversaries must be confident that the highest standards are in place when it comes to our nuclear arsenal."
Skelton, D-Mo., said his committee will pursue answers on the classified matter "to ensure that the Air Force and the Department of Defense address this particular incident and strengthen controls more generally."
Report this post as:
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 13 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
||Thursday, Sep. 06, 2007 at 2:54 PM
||Friday, Sep. 07, 2007 at 1:01 AM
|Black Op MEMEX P99 MKSEARCH
||Sunday, Sep. 09, 2007 at 1:36 PM
|Lost Nukes Headed to Iran?
||Sunday, Sep. 09, 2007 at 2:51 PM
|nukes all around us.
||Monday, Sep. 10, 2007 at 9:26 AM
||Monday, Sep. 10, 2007 at 12:59 PM
|not sure about that
||Monday, Sep. 10, 2007 at 1:11 PM
||Monday, Sep. 10, 2007 at 3:38 PM
|hell of a lot of difference
||Monday, Sep. 10, 2007 at 3:46 PM
|the stand down is very ominous too
||Monday, Sep. 10, 2007 at 5:15 PM
|"YOU and your buddies"
||I have no Buddies
||Monday, Sep. 10, 2007 at 5:30 PM
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights
What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It
Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down
Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29
Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf
Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development
Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine
Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents
Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters
City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre
Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling
Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present
Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police
LA Times Homicide Report
More Local News...
Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed
TheMilitary of Yemen IN In The 1990's
The Shortwave Report 04/27/18 Listen Globally!
Federal Bank Examiner FDIC recalls year long 1999 robbery in 2017
Doxa du lobby
Tech workers organize
Architect Stephen Francis Jones
UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for
What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress??
Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée
The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion
Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service
The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally!
The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder
Paraphysique de la dictature étatique
Book Review: "The New Bonapartists"
The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia
Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine
The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally!
“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize!
The World Dependent on Central Banks
Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine
March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update
Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel
ICE contract with license plate reader company
More Breaking News...