Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

USAF Strips 17 Officers of Nuclear Launch Authority

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the push-button-bad-guys-go-boom dept.

The Military 173

Freshly Exhumed writes "In an unprecedented action, a United States Air Force commander has stripped 17 of his officers of their authority to control and launch nuclear missiles. After a string of failings that the group's deputy commander said stemmed from 'rot' within the ranks, the suspensions followed a March inspection of the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, that resulted in a 'D' grade for the team tested on its mastery of the Minuteman III missile launch operations system. The 17 are being assigned to intensive retraining courses of 60 to 90 days, according to Lt. Col. John Dorrian, an Air Force spokesman."

cancel ×

173 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Take them out of the loop (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43667921)

and replace them all with electronics.

Re:Take them out of the loop (5, Funny)

erotic_pie (796522) | about a year and a half ago | (#43667947)

I think they made a movie about this, it didn't end well.

Re:Take them out of the loop (0, Redundant)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43667979)

Because clearly movies are our greatest source of knowledge about our universe.

Re:Take them out of the loop (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43667997)

you idiot. Out of Slashdot NOW if you don't understand the joke.

Re: Take them out of the loop (4, Insightful)

h2oliu (38090) | about a year and a half ago | (#43667989)

One ended fine. As long as you can teach the system the only way to win is not to play.

Re: Take them out of the loop (4, Funny)

Lussarn (105276) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668171)

Don't let it play Global thermonuclerar war for a decade though. It won't learn shit. Give it two minutes of tic-tac-toe, number of players zero, and it throws in the towel on the art of war completely. I know there is some kind of plot hole in here...

Re: Take them out of the loop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668759)

You have it backwards. Joshua played tic-tac-toe after loosing a single game of Defcon, learnt all that, then went back and played a bunch more Defcon, *then* through in the towel.
Did the flashing lights confuse you ?

Re: Take them out of the loop (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669333)

Don't let it play Global thermonuclerar war for a decade though. It won't learn shit. Give it two minutes of tic-tac-toe, number of players zero, and it throws in the towel on the art of war completely. I know there is some kind of plot hole in here...

It explains why the attempt to prevent SkyNet from destroying human civilization simply by having WOPR play the game with it failed. SkyNet saw through the holes in logic, and happily carried on. (Well, I imagine the dialog probably looked like M-x psychoanalyze-pinhead anyway...)

Re: Take them out of the loop (2)

chromas (1085949) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668991)

Don't press this button [radioreference.com] .

Re:Take them out of the loop (1)

laron (102608) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668811)

Yes, the end game was a draw, wasn't it?

Re:Take them out of the loop (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669401)

No. They lost Moscow; we lost New York, the President's wife, and Slim Pickens. But my, didn't Henry Fonda look swell as Mr. President, with J.R. Ewing translating.

Re:Take them out of the loop (1)

Anthem1937 (813790) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669571)

"That's right, sir, you are the only person authorized to do so. And although I, uh, hate to judge before all the facts are in, it's beginning to look like, uh, General Ripper exceeded his authority." - General Turgidson to President Muffley

Re:Take them out of the loop (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668033)

Perhaps we could build a huge supercomputer called "Colossus" to take control. I hear Dr. Forbin is a sharp guy, he could be project lead...

Re:Take them out of the loop (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668325)

I love that movie. Gratuitous drinking, smoking and sex. Kind of like Mad Men but with homicidal super computers.

Re:Take them out of the loop (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668607)

I prefer something along the lines of Skynet.
Sounds much nicer.

Re:Take them out of the loop (1)

stox (131684) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669337)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colossus:_The_Forbin_Project [wikipedia.org]

Remake

Imagine Entertainment and Universal Studios confirmed that a remake titled Colossus, to be directed by Ron Howard, would be in production as of April 2007,[5] but was delayed for years. In October 2010, the project moved forward with the announcement that Will Smith will star in the lead role, with the script being written by James Rothenberg.[6] In July 2011, Variety reported that Universal replaced Rothenberg with Blake Masters of Law & Order: LA to do a new draft of the script.[7] On March 2013, it was announced that Ed Solomon, screenwriter of Men In Black and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure has been brought on board to rewrite the film's script.[8]

Re:Take them out of the loop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668085)

and replace them all with electronics.

Yep, and then watch Colossus end the world. :)

Re:Take them out of the loop (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668099)

"I bring you peace. It may be the peace of plenty and content or the peace of unburied death."

Re:Take them out of the loop (1, Funny)

crankyspice (63953) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668109)

“We've had men in those silos since before any of you guys were watching ‘Howdy Doody!’ Now I myself sleep pretty well knowing those boys are down there ... Mr. McKittrick, after very careful consideration, sir, I've come to the conclusion that your new [automated electronic] defense system sucks.” - Gen. Beringer.

Re:Take them out of the loop (4, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668153)

so we'd be one component failure or software bug away from launch? no thanks. On something this critical, we need redundant humans pushing buttons and turning keys simultaneously..

Re:Take them out of the loop (5, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668237)

replace them all with electronics.

I think that'd be a WOPR of a problem. I think maybe the parent knew that and expected us to get the reference.

Re:Take them out of the loop (5, Funny)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668823)

and replace them all with electronics.

Cyberdyne Systems Command and Control System Model Skynet 1.0.0 approves of this message.

what side do you want? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669413)

what side do you want?

1. USA
2. USRR
3. France
4. North Korea
5. China
6. UK
7. Pakistan
8. India
9. Israel

Not a new problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43667971)

I think these are the same units who allowed a nuclear bomb to be shipped accidentally from ND to ??Mississippi?? a few years ago.

Re:Not a new problem (4, Interesting)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668047)

There were already a lot of people that were kicked out or forced into retirement after that. There were also some pretty significant structure reorganizations that followed.

Re:Not a new problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668095)

There were also some pretty significant structure reorganizations that followed.

Hence, Global Strike Command.

Re:Not a new problem (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668073)

I think these are the same units who allowed a nuclear bomb to be shipped accidentally from ND to ??Mississippi?? a few years ago.

I, for one, shudder to think of Mississippi as a nuclear power...

Re:Not a new problem (3, Interesting)

idontgno (624372) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668241)

Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, [wikipedia.org] not Mississippi.

I don't think it was the same military units involved in both incidents. The 2007 incident was the 5th Bomb Wing, and this incident is the 91st Missile Wing. Technically, the 5th Bomb Wing is the host unit and the 91st is an independent tenant unit, since most of its weapons are off base.

But it's awkward and somewhat telling that both incidents, as well as some serious inspection failures in 2008 [wikipedia.org] are on the same base. Or maybe that's just the base that's had the most serious scrutiny so far because it's established a reputation of needing scrutiny.

Re:Not a new problem (4, Insightful)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668483)

Doesn't this concern anyone? I mean, failing an inspection once, sure. But repeatedly failing seems to suggest that "intensive training" might not be the solution someone sold it to be. Because it sure smells like someone sold someone else a truckload of bullshit and 17 guys took the fall for it.

Re:Not a new problem (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43669841)

Dunno.... but the AF used to give out 'Missile Commander' scholarships like water.

Sign up, get money for college, and then spend two years buried in a hole.

I met a few of these guys in grad school, and being a grunt in a silo sucked pond water or worse.
Always understaffed and had low morale, and the usual chain-of-command abuses
of the peons. And it's not like there's much to do in Minot, SD, so the officers figured
everyone should be available 80 hours a week. Good luck getting a degree with
the nearest university far (90 miles?) away and random, capricious time demands.
Good luck finding anything interesting to do, or getting or keeping a life.

Unsurprisingly, it affects/affected a lot of people very badly.

Re:Not a new problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43669839)

Sure. It is much better to have some overconfident berkingstock wearing liberal left coast elite who know nothing except that he is infinateley superiour to all those people south of the mason-dixon line because everyone knows that southerners are retarded and prejudiced against anyone who is not of the same ethnographic as they happen to be in charge of nuclear weapons.

-Just saying

Re:Not a new problem (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668147)

They're not. These are ICBM launch officers -- the weapons that were transported from Minot to Barksdale (Louisiana) were carried aboard B-52s.

Re:Not a new problem (4, Funny)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668239)

Kate Pierson and Fred Schneider were fairly pissed about that, too.

Logical consequence of having a pointless job. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43667975)

Logical consequence of having a pointless job.

Always the same (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668003)

The weak link is always humans. The USAF had the best of intentions, was well funded and had oversight. Even so this was allowed to happen. At least they caught it.

Re:Always the same (2)

zaxus (105404) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668027)

The weak link is always humans.

Which is why we will soon be switching all nuclear launch authority to WOPR and/or Skynet...

Re:Always the same (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669155)

The weak link is always humans. The USAF had the best of intentions, was well funded and had oversight. Even so this was allowed to happen. At least they caught it.

Back up. If you look more closely, even a 'D' rating doesn't mean there was ever any danger of an accidental nuclear release, or lost/misplaced inventory, etc. This relates specifically and only to combat-readiness. These are the guys that sit in a room for days, hours, weeks at a go, with nothing to do but wait for the red lights and klaxxon alarms that say WW3 just started. They got a poor review because they were too slow in their reaction times, amongst other things as it relates to launch readiness.

This is the same thing that every military unit, in every branch, deals with sooner or later. Everyone's performance slips sooner or later, even if you're special forces. That's why these audits are done, everywhere, all the time. It's routine, and these reviews are part of everybody's service file. A poor review doesn't even necessarily mean you're going to lose out on a promotion opportunity in the long run. People are benched for retraining all the time. Mind you, the first step is usually additional training in situ, but given the seriousness of their job, I can understand skipping that.

But let's be clear: This is the military performing as expected. This is a routine thing, and it's only making the news because it involves nuclear weapons. If it happened anywhere else, it'd be a non-event.

Re:Always the same (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669277)

I think you missed my point. I wasn't saying it was a safety issue, merely that no matter how high the stakes and how hard you try these things still happen.

The USAF is, as you say, the gold standard. Civilian nuclear power is considerably less motivated and less well funded, with less oversight. That's why I take issue with the "oh if we just put better people in charge" brigade, and their friends in the "we can make it idiot proof" troop.

Re:Always the same (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669317)

I think you missed my point. I wasn't saying it was a safety issue, merely that no matter how high the stakes and how hard you try these things still happen.

Which is, frankly, a pointless point to make.

The USAF is, as you say, the gold standard. Civilian nuclear power is considerably less motivated and less well funded, with less oversight. That's why I take issue with the "oh if we just put better people in charge" brigade, and their friends in the "we can make it idiot proof" troop.

No, but you can add auditing and process controls to manage and reduce the problems to a very small percentage. Which is what the USAF has done, and done well. This isn't evidence of a failure in process, but rather a validation of it. And I didn't say Chair Force is the gold standard...

My vote is for the Marines. ;)

Re:Always the same (5, Funny)

Obfuscant (592200) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669439)

The USAF is, as you say, the gold standard. Civilian nuclear power is considerably less motivated and less well funded, with less oversight.

You're right. I'm all for removing nuclear launch authority from the operators of civilian nuclear power plants.

Re:Always the same (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669867)

But let's be clear: This is the military performing as expected. This is a routine thing, and it's only making the news because it involves nuclear weapons. If it happened anywhere else, it'd be a non-event.

I suspect it's only making the news because it's slow news day... Otherwise, you're spot on. These kinds of failures, while not common, do happen. It happened to me back in the 1980's while serving onboard USS Henry L. Stimson (Blue). The WEPS dicked up some paperwork, resulting in a failure with immediate re-inspect (I.E. after we'd had a chance to fix the screw up). The worst part is that until he took it into his head to do something on his own hook rather than consulting with the Weapons Department Yeoman (me), it looked like we were going to nail a "comment only" inspection. (Which is realistically the best you can do nobody ever heard of someone getting a "perfect" inspection. Given that running a nuclear weapons system is partially a science, partially an art... there's a lot of differing opinions about the 'art' part.)

Unprecenented? (5, Informative)

chiefmojorising (114811) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668021)

Hardly. This happened more than once during the cold war under SAC. Hell, entire wings have been decertified before. You don't have to go back farther than 2007 to find something similar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_United_States_Air_Force_nuclear_weapons_incident).

There was an article in Air Force Magazine a couple months back about SAC history that touched on this a bit:

http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/2013/March%202013/0313SAC.aspx [airforcemag.com]

Unprecedented? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43669197)

Absoutely, this is not unprecedented. I'm a bit puzzled lately by this obsession with AF bashing by the press.
First off, it's extremely simple to fail -anything- involving nuclear weapons. Failing to dot an i type stuff... so when it takes about 'potential to compromise codes', it's relative.
Second, these young officers didn't "have the authority to launch weapons". Only the president does. Better phrased as "authority to be near nuclear weapons and follow launch procedures when authorized and provided necessary codes".
Third, this authority is often stripped temporarily on a routine basis for lots of reasons. Look up Personnel Reliability Program (PRP). Have a bitter divorce going on? PRP gets yanked. Foreclosed on? PRP yanked. Temporarily, not a career-ender, but better safe then sorry.
Finally, why the heck are Senators involved?? A group of young officers needed their attention grabbed... a mid-level officer (Lieutenant Colonel) grabbed them by the horns and shwacked then with a blunt email about what the expectations are. And this is bad how? Hire thousands of young employees into a job, and some of them will fail to meet your expectations, no matter how high/low they are. So a good leader tries to fix the employees. Looks like that's what this guy is trying to do in an email that was never meant to go public.

I'd be much more concerned about this is every single nuclear inspection in the military never reported any issues.

Re:Unprecenented? (5, Interesting)

Otis B. Dilroy III (2110816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669851)

During the cuban missle crisis my dad was a flight line mechanic at Fairchild AFB outside Spokane WA.
At that time Fairchild was a B52 base.
He said that every B52 they had was in the aIr loaded with nukes, wating for orders.
The nukes had to be armed in the air before dropping so that they wouldn't go off in case of a crash or accidental drop.
During post-flight inspections, it was discovered that one B52 went up with all of its nukes armed. If it had dropped a bomb due to mechanical failure or crashed, big boom
I can only imagine the size of the boom that occurred on base when it was discoevred.

About Time. (2)

iamwhoiamtoday (1177507) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668035)

About time that the results of an inspection actually spurred the brass to do something about it.
So often, stuff just gets swept under the rug. I'm actually concerned over this, not because "oh look, we found 17 folks out of compliance", but more because "if this is what they are publisicing, what isn't being said?".

As much as I love seeing Officers getting called out, it really makes me worry about the Chair Farce's ability to get stuff right.

Re:About Time. (4, Interesting)

idontgno (624372) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668449)

In the Air Force, bad readiness inspection results usually get action. What they don't usually get is publicity.

This was a leak. I don't want to be too cynical about my military alma mater, but expect a serious leak-hunt along with all of the anticipated corrective actions, remedial training, and legal action.

Re:About Time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668847)

This is SOP at all levels of the governments, from the USAF to the local animal control. Airing dirty laundry in public is a career-ender. Even though it should be required by law.

"Intensive retraining ..." (1)

Kittenman (971447) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668059)

Is that "drop and give me 20" type stuff? In other places, it's called "gardening leave" or maybe "leaving to spend more time with his family"

Re:"Intensive retraining ..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668737)

no its more like, see that red button, dont push it

What could possibly go wrong? (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668061)

Isn't '60-90 days of retraining' about the same as what you get for failing a class in high school and getting forced to take summer classes if you want to graduate?

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668185)

How hard can it be to launch a missle?

1) The red light starts flashing
2) Open safe and confirm codes
3) Press big red button
4) Commit suicide

It's not like they need to be rocket scientists or anything.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668437)

How hard can it be to launch a missle?

1) The red light starts flashing
2) Open safe and confirm codes
3) Press big red button
4) Commit suicide

It's not like they need to be rocket scientists or anything.

Would YOU be able to push the big red button ? I know I wouldn't be able to.
Even if you commit suicide afterwards, killing tens of millions of people just isn't an easy thing to do.
I think those missile commanders have to be brainwashed at some level to do what they do.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668805)

I couldn't shoot deer, bears, etc. but there's plenty of people who think it's great fun. Some of them even take their kids along when they do it so they can put one foot on them for the Facebook pics.

You can bet there's no shortage of people who'd press the button without hesitation. All the air force has to do is find a few of them.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668885)

Mid-tribulation Premillennialists might be a good choice... though their 'not-launching-the-missiles' capabilities might be a problem.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669539)

Whom do you think the Soviet and Chinese communists use? You may recall that they were both part of a club that treated Christians poorly [wikipedia.org] ? China still is [weeklystandard.com] .

... though their 'not-launching-the-missiles' capabilities might be a problem.

I think Christians understand that the end of the world is in God's hands, not man's. Trying to start it themselves would seem to be a sin.

“But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. -- Mark 13:32 [scripturetext.com]

This is in contrast to the Iranian branch of Shia Islam (the Iraqi branch is distinct) where many believe they can cause enough chaos in the world to bring the return of the Hidden Imam.

'Divine mission' driving Iran's new leader [telegraph.co.uk]
Ahmadinejad: Chávez Will Rise Again with Jesus and the Hidden Imam [nationalreview.com]

I get the impression you might be a little fixated.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668843)

Steve Phelps: Sir, we have a launch order. Put your hand on your key, sir!
Jerry Lawson: I'm sorry...
Computer: Two... one... Launch!
Steve Phelps: [pulls out his sidearm and aims at Lawson] Sir, we are at launch, turn your key!
Jerry Lawson: I'm sorry.
Steve Phelps: [cocks his sidearm] Turn your key, sir!

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668879)

Perhaps we need to "Ender's Game" this problem. Relabel all the controls to imply they're a simulation so the operators don't feel bad about what they did until they've already done it.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669805)

Would YOU be able to push the big red button ? I know I wouldn't be able to.

That's because you haven't had the Air Force's Jesus Loves Nukes [telegraph.co.uk] training. </sarcasm>

but you need 2 men to trun there keys (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669441)

but you need 2 men to trun there keys at the same time

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669687)

How hard can it be to launch a missle?

1) The red light starts flashing
2) Open safe and confirm codes
3) Press big red button
4) Commit suicide

It's not like they need to be rocket scientists or anything.

If the world gets to the point where we're launching nuclear missiles, I think step 4 is redundant.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1, Troll)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668527)

I'd retrain them to clean toilets. Permanently.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43669135)

Well, they'll probably go through CCU which is like boot camp part two crossed a bit with juvie-hall for adults. Then after that they'll likely be assigned permanent FOD walkdown duty at some remote base up in Alaska. The military will still get their last days use out of 'em, but they wont be in much position to really hurt anything.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669411)

Isn't '60-90 days of retraining' about the same as what you get for failing a class in high school and getting forced to take summer classes if you want to graduate?

True, but 60-90 days of focusing on material by a competent and mature adult will result in much better information retention than 60-90 days by a teenager whose hormones are busy staring at the sexual features of half the class, and their attitude is that what they're doing is a massive waste of time.

I learned the entire C programming language in less time than that; But I dedicated and motivated myself towards doing it. And it wasn't even "full time"... I just picked away at it, an hour here, an hour there. Nowadays I can absorb entire books worth of reference material in days. In 90 days, I could memorize everything there is to know about nuclear launches. Hell, I could probably build the damn rockets in that amount of time.

Focus. It's everything.

NOT GUILTY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668071)

Did I just hear Simpson and Anthony all over again? Time to stop putting these circuses on TV.

Good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668083)

Someone trying to instill some discipline in a organization where sloppiness should not be tolerated? Good for them.

Minecraft (4, Insightful)

DarthVain (724186) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668121)

Yes but do they still have mine shaft access, that is what I want to know?! How else are we going to keep the commies from infiltrating our precious fluids? Grain alcohol for me I tell you what!

Seriously however, scoring a "D" in Minuteman Mastery should get your keys revoked. Somehow 60-90 days training doesn't make me feel any better if that is all it takes to get their access back....

The military takes this stuff really seriously (4, Informative)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668135)

When I was in ROTC our squad officer said basically everyone up the chain of command was written up (permanent records) because one security guard with a shotgun was out of position in a nuke facility.

Re:The military takes this stuff really seriously (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668255)

And that sounds fairly reasonable to me.

Re:The military takes this stuff really seriously (4, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669383)

How far out of position? Like a foot to the left, or riding the nuke like a cowboy, firing the shotgun into the air and yelling "WOOOOO!!!!" Because one is forgivable, the other is I assume standard practice.

Return to Old School discipline. (1)

couchslug (175151) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669549)

They need to bring the old SAC ways back. After TAC ate SAC and became ACC, things became famously slack.

Enforce discipline, fairly, but harshly. If people refuse to perform shitcan them. Air Force life is mostly cake, the bennies and retirement package are outstanding, and of course everyone there is a volunteer.

Perform or get the fuck out.

Meanwhile, they have been offered new jobs . . . (3, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668193)

. . . in scenic North Korea. Wacky delusional dictator Kim Jong Un has promised them an exciting life in his missile silos, highlighted by Shirts & Skins hoops with Dennis Rodman.

. . . on Roller Skates . . . !

Re:Meanwhile, they have been offered new jobs . . (4, Funny)

Shimbo (100005) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668301)

...and you get to be trained in Photoshop too.

Something they'd never use, was taken away (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668229)

Must hurt to know that you can't do something you'd probably never have to do anyways.

I know it's every boys dream to be able to launch a nuke.

yes, I am being sarcastic.

Re:Something they'd never use, was taken away (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668389)

I would flip the key. I would launch. I would not think twice. I would not have to. I am trained to do it. And I would. FEAR NOT fellow Americans. I will see to it that we take out at least a few hundred thousand.

T.J. Kong III

Ozzy? (1)

GPLDAN (732269) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668257)

Is this where we queue the Black Sabbath music?

Generals gathered in their masses.....

Hard to stay fresh (1)

Doug Otto (2821601) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668259)

Imagine having a job where you sit every day waiting to perform a task that never happens.

We should let them launch one, every now and then, just to stay fresh.

Re:Hard to stay fresh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668339)

Imagine having a job where you sit every day waiting to perform a task that never happens.

We should let them launch one, every now and then, just to stay fresh.

I'd propose as primary target : the US Congress, secondary target : Hollywood, and tertiary target : east Texas.
Obliterating these 3 should fix 99% of america's problems.

Re:Hard to stay fresh (1)

idontgno (624372) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668515)

I don't know if you've thought this out.

By way of example, let me toss out a hypothetical outcome of your plan: "mutant zombie patent laywer".

Or picture one of these [wikia.com] with a list of BitTorrent leecher IPs and a contract from the RIAA.

Yeah, I heard you scream like a little girl. You know exactly what I mean.

It's a bad plan. Lawyers are the only thing likely to out-survive cockroaches. Lifting off and nuking them from orbit won't be enough.

Re:Hard to stay fresh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668567)

Ok I will concede that getting rid of lawyers is as difficult if not more difficult than getting rid of insects.
Still, nuclear weapons are not enough but maybe an extinction level event might do the job. The problem is nobody will be left to enjoy the aftermath of the liberation.

Lawyers with frickin lasers on their heads (2)

TiggertheMad (556308) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668633)

Lawyers are the only thing likely to out-survive cockroaches. Lifting off and nuking them from orbit won't be enough.

Another similarity with roaches: hitting them with a hammer results in a satisfying crunching sound....

Re:Hard to stay fresh (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668491)

I've never been in the armed service, but I would expect them to have occasional drills.

Re:Hard to stay fresh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668803)

Regular or cordless ones?

Lack of precision is how confusion starts

No Problem (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668385)

Just increase the number of H-1B visas so we can get qualified people from India into those jobs.

New for Nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668459)

How is this news nerd-worthy?

Our civilization is degrading (1, Flamebait)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668495)

These are the same standards that previous generations could achieve. Hard standards that do not change according to the whims of political winds, nor the Air Force's racial preferences. The Strategic Air Command (the mooks responsible for all our nukes) attitude was called the "Sundown Policy". In other words, if you screwed up no matter who you were, your ass was gone by sundown. If you so much as got a traffic ticket: "If a man is not responsible enough to drive a car, he has no business around nuclear weapons." The offender would often be kicked out of the Air Force and tossed off the base by the close of the day.

And now, what? Remedial training lessons? Are you joking? Our current generation can't handle the hard standards set by their forefathers. Note that nuclear weapon handling procedures are not what you might call "difficult". They are merely "thorough". If you figure out the underlying idea, it's a piece of cake - as demonstrated repeatedly by the generations of SAC airmen who scored 100% (the only passing score) on test after test after test. However all we see here are people who cannot see the idea, merely dozens and dozens of checklists which must be memorized by heart, none of it makes any sense.

Why should we be surprised when an officer fails to order armed guards to stand watch over a nuclear weapons storage facility? It's just another one of those nitpicking details - "quit your post only when properly relieved"? Who can possibly be bothered to memorize these technical details and meaningless trivia?

Re:Our civilization is degrading (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668747)

Except the problem being that some of the standards of the previous generations were so hard and difficult to achieve the way they wanted that cheating started happening. Policies have changed because we have better ones. PRP (Personal Reliability Program) is the program we follow now. It is designed to be a program where you keep track of yourself and others, and any issues that arrise you channel up the chain of command. If you get a traffic ticket, and you tell your commander, "No, I'm good. Simple mistake." or whatever it might be, then alright. You go pay it and everything is fine and done. If a family member dies, you tell someone, and you are "down" on PRP and are not allowed to work with nuclear weapons. If anything else is bothering you, you can tell someone you need to be "down". So on and so forth. And this was put into place, because people in the past were told to "suck it up and get to work" and then these sad, depressed, or angry people are working on nukes. Pretty sure we can agree that's bad.

Granted, maybe there are many more problems going on within Minot AFB that is creating this problem. At F.E. Warren, we aren't having these issues and scored exceedingly high in every area of the inspections this year.

Re:Our civilization is degrading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668781)

This sounds like quite a lot of shit talking from a has been... or never was.

How do you know what's currently going on and what standards are actually being enforced?

Didn't think so, chump.

I'll bet you were a REMF.

I hope (3, Insightful)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668551)

I hope USAF Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper has been stripped of his nuclear authority too!

What did they expect? (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668643)

I'm not shocked that they'd have problems with people in a very stressful yet very boring job with little likelihood of ever being called on to do anything. Not to mention a big dose of moral self-doubts.

Time to retire silo'd missiles anyway. They are a relic of the past.

It's organizational rot (4, Insightful)

Sir Holo (531007) | about a year and a half ago | (#43668719)

Organizational rot sets in when there is nothing really "new" or interesting for employees to do, little opportunity for promotion, all spread over a number of years. How could it not?

An easy and secure job sounds like an attractive thing on its face, but really, it's not, and often eventually turns into a "club." And it's boring.

Quote FTA, by a former launch-control officer, "Minuteman launch crews have long been marginalized and demoralized by the fact that the Air Force's culture and fast-track careers revolve around flying planes, not sitting in underground bunkers baby-sitting nuclear-armed missiles."

Re:It's organizational rot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43669419)

Probably the best response would be to just retire the weapons and the failing officers along with them. We don't really need either.

Re:It's organizational rot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43669953)

What you say. Add the usual abuses and short-staffing, plus being 90 miles from anywhere,
and having morale only in the sub-basement would be an achievement. These guys and
gals are literally living in holes in the ground.

Lt. Colonel John Dorrian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43668975)

Wasn't he JD in Scrubs?

Rot within the Ranks/Retraining.... (-1)

hackus (159037) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669071)

Which will consist of...

1) Will you disobey the constitution?
2) Will you launch if directed to do so against the American people?

Answer no to any of those questions, you are "Rot within the ranks and need "retraining."

-Hack

Well, well, well (2)

reboot246 (623534) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669131)

Looks like somebody got put on his Super High Intensity Training list.

When asked for comment... (1)

chinton (151403) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669421)

Joshua replied "Would you like to play a game?".

"Nuclear missile laun.. (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669481)

"Nuclear missile laun.. and then it cuts off what do you do then?

Re:"Nuclear missile laun.. (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | about a year and a half ago | (#43669921)

Crimson Tide [imdb.com] did a decent job answering that hypothetical.

Failed test drills (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43669979)

They probably faild test drills!

When the drill was run, They failed to launch the missiles.
(Not knowing it was a drill, They probably felt some moral obligation not to wipe out humanity!)

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?