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Icbm Launch Officer Decertification

Wed May 08, 2013 1:27 pm

It would be easy to blame this on the demise of SAC as the organizational entity that controls these assets. But as Bruce Blair---a former launch officer and now a scholar at Princeton---points out, it is the lack of mission and a sense of purpose and relevance among the ranks that has bred this malaise, not only among missileers but the U.S. nuclear forces across the spectrum.

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RE: Icbm Launch Officer Decertification

Wed May 08, 2013 4:23 pm

Yes, I read about this on the DRUDGE REPORT this morning. There were 17 officers decertified at Minot AFB because of the ORI the missile wing bearly passed at the end of March.

Bruce Blair is of course right in his assessment. But that still points to the lack of leadership in the USAF nuclear forces since SAC died. SAC was all about the mission of nuclear deterrence, and failing that nuclear war. SAC had just 4 missions, maintain a nuclear weapons inventory and train to use it if directed by the POTUS, strategic recon, management of USAF air refueling assets, and conventional warfare. SAC was in a constant state of readiness and a constant state of training. SAC also flew many operational missions that few people ever knew about.

But, in SAC the missile crews were on an equal footing with the bomber aircrews. They had (roughly) the same promotion rates as bomber crew officers and equal opportunities to move into staff positions later in their careers.

Today, Global Strike Command (GSC) is a secondary command and not considered a "combat command" (as the old SAC, TAC, and ADC were) until it comes time to launch missiles. ACC is today's only combat command in the USAF.

The USAF has had serious problems in leadership of its nuclear forces and weapons controls since at least the year 2000. In fact an AFCOS and SECAF were fired because of several incidents involving nuclear weapons controls by the SECDEF just a few years ago. Those firings resulted in GSC coming into being.

I'm afraid this problem will continue to plague the USAF Leadership until preparations to fight and control a nuclear war is restored as a primary mission. Yes, that is expensive, but it is the only way to provide the leadership needed.

Okay, I'll get off my "bring SAC back" soapbox now.

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