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Offline mystery-ak

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92 nuclear officers implicated in cheating scandal
« on: January 30, 2014, 01:28:20 PM »
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/01/30/2-nuclear-officers-implicated-in-cheating-scandal/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxnews%2Fpolitics+%28Internal+-+Politics+-+Text%29

92 nuclear officers implicated in cheating scandal
Published January 30, 2014
Associated Press

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said Thursday the number of nuclear force officers implicated in a proficiency test cheating scandal has grown to 92 out of a force of 500.

James spoke to reporters after touring nuclear bases around the country, which The Associated Press has revealed suffers from such low morale and burnout that they have committed serious security lapses other breakdowns.

James, who is new to the job, said the nuclear force is beset by "undue stress and fear," and said the nuclear force suffers "systemic problems."

The Air Force announced recently that initially 17 officers were believed to have been involved in cheating on a monthly proficiency test to ensure they know how to maintain, and launch, nuclear missiles.

The widening cheating scandal has set off a top-level search for solutions.

For the first time, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel summoned 15 of his top Air Force, Navy and nuclear mission leaders to the Pentagon, where they worked Wednesday to figure out whether cultural problems within the nuclear force make launch officers feel more compelled to cheat on their proficiency tests.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said the officials spent the bulk of the meeting discussing the breadth of the problems, which include low morale, cheating and serious security lapses, and how to begin solving them.

"I think the general consensus in the room was that we all need to accept the reality that there probably are systemic issues in the personnel growth and development inside the nuclear mission," Kirby told Pentagon reporters after the two-hour meeting with Hagel. "The secretary made it clear at the end of the meeting that he intends to do these on a regular basis."

The cheating scandal is the latest revelation in a growing morass of problems among the men and women who maintain and staff the nation's nuclear missiles.

The number of officers in the nuclear corps who have been implicated in a cheating investigation has now nearly tripled.

All are at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., which is responsible for 150 Minuteman 3 nuclear missiles, or one-third of the entire Minuteman 3 force.

The Air Force also is taking a closer look at its nuclear leadership. Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, who heads Global Strike Command, has ordered the 20th Air Force, which oversees the Minuteman 3 missiles, to re-evaluate all senior leadership moves at the three air wings that operate the missiles. Besides Malmstrom, these missiles are kept at F.E. Warren in Wyoming and Minot in North Dakota.

It wasn't immediately clear whether the additional airmen suspected of being involved in cheating on proficiency tests are alleged to have participated in the cheating directly or were involved indirectly.

The meeting Wednesday included the heads of the Air Force and Navy nuclear weapons organizations, as well as U.S. Strategic Command, which is responsible for nuclear war planning and for oversight of the nuclear forces.

The Air Force announced on Jan. 15 that while it was investigating possible criminal drug use by some airmen, it discovered that one missile officer at Malmstrom had shared test questions with 16 other officers. It said another 17 admitted to knowing about this cheating but did not report it. The 34 officers had their security clearances suspended and they were taken off missile launch duty.

The Air Force has 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, on alert at all times, with a contingent of about 500 launch control officers, some number of which are unavailable on any given day due to illness or other reasons. So the number temporarily unavailable for duty because of the cheating scandal is substantial. It's not clear how that affects the mission, beyond requiring the remaining crew members to bear a bigger share of the work.

Each day, a total of 90 officers work in pairs inside 45 underground launch control centers, with each center monitoring and controlling a group of 10 ICBMs. They work 24-hour shifts in the missile field and then return to their base. They generally do as many as eight of these shifts per month.

The tests in question are designed to ensure proficiency by launch officers in handling "emergency war orders," which involve the classified processing of orders received through their chain of command to launch a missile. These written tests are in addition to two other types of monthly testing on the missile system and on launch codes.

Malmstrom is home to the 341st Missile Wing, which is one of three ICBM groups. The other two are in North Dakota and Wyoming.

 

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Offline olde north church

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Re: 92 nuclear officers implicated in cheating scandal
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2014, 07:34:52 AM »
summoned by chuck hagel?  4 words that should never be put together in a sentence regarding our upper echelon of officers
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

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Re: 92 nuclear officers implicated in cheating scandal
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2014, 09:23:36 AM »
summoned by chuck hagel?  4 words that should never be put together in a sentence regarding our upper echelon of officers

I'm actually pleased to see it. Civilian oversight only works if the civilian is willing to do the work. Of course, they must also be willing to take advice - something we'll have to see about.

Panetta was not. He was too busy pushing his master's agenda to do the actual job, and cheating on proficiency and readiness tests became rife under his time in all branches of the services.

While I am hoping Hagel is "just doing his job" and concentrating on the most important force multiplier first, there is a more ominous possibility. Obama does want to significantly decrease America's nuclear arsenal - this might be a perfect reason to do it. Entire units demoted, suspended or dismissed at once. Can't use a weapon if it doesn't have a crew or maintenance.
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Offline olde north church

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Re: 92 nuclear officers implicated in cheating scandal
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2014, 09:35:32 AM »
I'm actually pleased to see it. Civilian oversight only works if the civilian is willing to do the work. Of course, they must also be willing to take advice - something we'll have to see about.

Panetta was not. He was too busy pushing his master's agenda to do the actual job, and cheating on proficiency and readiness tests became rife under his time in all branches of the services.

While I am hoping Hagel is "just doing his job" and concentrating on the most important force multiplier first, there is a more ominous possibility. Obama does want to significantly decrease America's nuclear arsenal - this might be a perfect reason to do it. Entire units demoted, suspended or dismissed at once. Can't use a weapon if it doesn't have a crew or maintenance.

hagel is another "vietnam hero" in the mold of john kerry, "speaking power to the 'man'" becoming "the man"
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline mystery-ak

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Re: 92 nuclear officers implicated in cheating scandal
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2014, 09:38:33 AM »
http://www.stripes.com/news/us/air-force-brass-culture-of-fear-led-to-cheating-1.264919

Air Force brass: Culture of fear led to cheating

 By LOLITA C. BALDOR and ROBERT BURNS
The Associated Press


Published: January 31, 2014

 WASHINGTON — A worrisome culture of fear that made launch officers believe they had to get perfect test scores to be promoted fueled a widening cheating scandal within the military's nuclear missile corps, according to Air Force officials.

Half of the 183 launch officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana have been implicated in the cheating investigation and suspended, signaling deeper morale and personnel problems in a force critical to America's nuclear security.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said the scandal hasn't affected the safety or reliability of the military's nuclear mission. Speaking to Pentagon reporters Thursday, James and Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, who heads the Global Strike Command, said that so far it appears the cheating was confined to the Montana base, even while a climate of frustration, low morale and other failures permeates the nuclear force, which numbers about 550.

The cheating scandal is the latest in an array of troubles that now have the attention of senior defense officials, including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. The Associated Press began reporting on the issue nine months ago and revealed serious security lapses, low morale, burnout and other problems in the nuclear force. The Air Force recently announced the cheating scandal, which grew out of a drug investigation.

"These tests have taken on, in their eyes, such high importance, that they feel that anything less than 100 could well put their entire career in jeopardy" even though they only need a score of 90 to pass, said James, who recently took over as secretary. "They have come to believe that these tests are make-it-or-break-it."

The launch officers didn't cheat to pass the test, "they cheated because they felt driven to get 100 percent," she said.

Of the 92 officers implicated so far, as many as 40 were involved directly in the cheating, Wilson said. Others may have known about it but did not report it.

Separately, James said that an investigation into drug possession by officers at several Air Force bases now involves 13 airmen, two more than initially announced. The drug probe led to the discovery of the cheating problem, when investigators found that launch officers were texting answers to each other.

All 92 officers — nearly 17 percent of the force — have been decertified and taken off the job while the scandal is being investigated. That means other launch officers and staff must fill in, performing 10 24-hour shifts per month, instead of the usual eight, Wilson said. Staff members from the 20th Air Force, which oversees all of the nuclear missile force, are also being tapped to do the shifts.

The Air Force has 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, on alert at all times. Each day, 90 officers work in pairs inside 45 underground launch control centers, with each center monitoring and controlling a group of 10 ICBMs. They work 24-hour shifts in the missile field and then return to their base.

The latest scandal set off a top-level search for solutions, including a round of visits by James to all the nuclear bases, where she met privately with small groups of airmen to get their insights into the problems.

James and Wilson said that the problems underscore the need to develop new testing and training procedures, provide more incentives and rewards for those who perform well, and set up a system that looks at more than test scores when evaluating officers.

Officials have yet to discipline any commanders or officers beyond those who actually took the tests. But the ongoing reviews look at leadership and accountability within the force. That includes a culture of poor integrity that may encourage officers to share test answers as a way of looking out for each other.

"I do believe there are climate issues, and part of that will be assessing commanders — how did this happen?" said James.

Wilson said all missile launch officers have now been retested, and the average score was about 95 percent. He said 22 failed. Additional nuclear testing and crew evaluations are also being done.

Malmstrom Air Force Base is responsible for 150 Minuteman 3 nuclear missiles, or one-third of the entire Minuteman 3 force. The other two bases are F.E. Warren in Wyoming and Minot in North Dakota.

The tests in question are designed to ensure proficiency by launch officers in handling "emergency war orders," which involve the classified processing of orders received through their chain of command to launch a missile. These written tests are in addition to two other types of monthly testing on the missile system and on launch codes.

According to James and Wilson, the monthly tests all cover the same course material, but until now each base developed its own individual questions. As a result of the scandal, Wilson said the tests will now be developed by 20th Air Force.

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Offline Chieftain

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Re: 92 nuclear officers implicated in cheating scandal
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2014, 09:46:38 AM »
The focus of the Air Force has been more on integrating women into the force, and of late homosexuals as well.  Our nuclear capable forces have always been labor intensive and had incredibly high standards, but maintaining that is very expensive and we all know about cuts in budgets.....

Not an excuse, but certainly one large part of the cause.


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Re: 92 nuclear officers implicated in cheating scandal
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2014, 09:50:39 AM »
When you are playing with toys that can make whole cities disappear in an instant, you had better have high standards!

The article Myst just posted sums it up very well: "Culture of fear." It ties into your budget comment as well. Under-performing units don't get the promotions or the good stuff.
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Offline DCPatriot

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Re: 92 nuclear officers implicated in cheating scandal
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2014, 10:06:27 AM »
For all you nice people who see nothing askew here....

WTF??   :whistle:

Given what Obama has done to "fundamentally transform the United States of America"....y'all are putting a lot of trust in the man.

...sacking the head of the Nuclear Arsenal in Germany for getting inebriated...WHILE OFF DUTY, is well....in a word BULLSHIT.

He's purging the military and replacing them with koolade drinking zombies.
"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

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Offline olde north church

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Re: 92 nuclear officers implicated in cheating scandal
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2014, 10:52:58 AM »
For all you nice people who see nothing askew here....

WTF??   :whistle:

Given what Obama has done to "fundamentally transform the United States of America"....y'all are putting a lot of trust in the man.

...sacking the head of the Nuclear Arsenal in Germany for getting inebriated...WHILE OFF DUTY, is well....in a word BULLSHIT.

He's purging the military and replacing them with koolade drinking zombies.

yet they can remain in contact with each other.  it's not like they've been sent off to the gulags.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline DCPatriot

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Re: 92 nuclear officers implicated in cheating scandal
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2014, 11:00:55 AM »
yet they can remain in contact with each other.  it's not like they've been sent off to the gulags.

LOL!

Now we can see how the effect "FEAR" has on a person.

Maybe Snowden is a double agent?  Maybe they want the general population to actually think that every phone call and email have been copied and can be reviewed upon a moment's notice.  That they can obtain every place you've been through your GPS...how fast you were driving, etc..

If 1930's Germany had the technology we have today, the world would be a very different place.
"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

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Offline olde north church

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Re: 92 nuclear officers implicated in cheating scandal
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2014, 02:24:19 PM »
LOL!

Now we can see how the effect "FEAR" has on a person.

Maybe Snowden is a double agent?  Maybe they want the general population to actually think that every phone call and email have been copied and can be reviewed upon a moment's notice.  That they can obtain every place you've been through your GPS...how fast you were driving, etc..

If 1930's Germany had the technology we have today, the world would be a very different place.

the answer to the nsa?  point the antennaes outward, not inward.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

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Re: 92 nuclear officers implicated in cheating scandal
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2014, 02:36:42 PM »
the answer to the nsa?  point the antennaes outward, not inward.

Would you trust them?

I wouldn't. There is a certain type of person attracted to that sort of work. We called them rats. You may have a different term. The sort of person that would grass you up for smoking in a none designated zone, or for spitting on the pavement.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2014, 02:38:23 PM by EC »
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Offline olde north church

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Re: 92 nuclear officers implicated in cheating scandal
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2014, 02:47:22 PM »
Would you trust them?

I wouldn't. There is a certain type of person attracted to that sort of work. We called them rats. You may have a different term. The sort of person that would grass you up for smoking in a none designated zone, or for spitting on the pavement.

I believe the saying is, "nobody likes a tattle tale"
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline DCPatriot

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Re: 92 nuclear officers implicated in cheating scandal
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2014, 05:22:37 PM »
I believe the saying is, "nobody likes a tattle tale"

It's not as cute as that, ONC.

It's more a power rush they get by making somebody cower.  To get them to obey and be afraid.  To hold that power....even if it's a citation for jaywalking or a parking ticket confrontation with a harried shopper.

That's not being a tattletale.  That's being a pr*ck! 
"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

"I am responsible for what I say.  I am not responsible for what your understand."  ...me

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Re: 92 nuclear officers implicated in cheating scandal
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2014, 05:38:32 PM »
I'd call it a bit of both.

Being exposed to cartoons almost constantly (my sanity is around here somewhere) I always think of NSA and TSA types as Randall from Recess. Constantly sneaking and peeking, then running to teacher.
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