Author Topic: Air Force Secretary Outlines Changes for Nuclear Force  (Read 352 times)

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Offline rangerrebew

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Air Force Secretary Outlines Changes for Nuclear Force
« on: June 23, 2014, 09:19:29 AM »
   


Air Force Secretary Outlines Changes for Nuclear Force

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2014 – Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James today outlined new incentives and measures designed to change the culture of the service’s nuclear force.

Following a cheating scandal involving intercontinental ballistic missile launch officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, and the subsequent relief of nine officers, a commander’s retirement and 91 other airmen receiving discipline, James touched on ways the Air Force has begun to address “systemic issues.”

“I do think this is more than a single issue,” she said in remarks at a Defense Writers Group breakfast. “As I’ve said before, I do think we need some holistic fixes for the nuclear force. This is not something that happened in the last year or two, or even 10. It’s probably been happening gradually over the last 25 years.”

The secretary said while there are likely no quick fixes to resolve these issues, there are measures she and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III can implement now.

“Let’s talk money,” James said. “Money is not everything, but money’s important. So right now, in [fiscal year 2014], just in the last few months, we have redirected $50 million -- $50 million, by the way, is the most that the Global Strike Command said they could reasonably spend in [the fiscal year].”

Money should be spent reasonably, she said, so in addition to $50 million, $350 million more will be redirected to the nuclear mission over the next five years. The money will go to sustainment infrastructure and to some of the “people issues,” the secretary added.

There could be more to come, James said, but this is what officials have decided so far.

Another issue being addressed is undermanning in the nuclear force, the secretary told the defense writers.

“When you’re undermanned, that means the existing people have to work harder,” she said. “That impacts morale and it could impact other things as well. We have, right now, already directed 1,100 additional people are going to be inserted into the nuclear force to get those manning levels up.”

They principally will be in the field, she said, and the Air Force is going to 100-percent manning in the eight critical nuclear specialties. Air Force officials have lifted some of the ongoing servicewide manpower reductions to add people back into the nuclear force, she added.

Along with those adjustments, the secretary noted, she has called for elevating the Global Strike Command commander’s position to the four-star level and that the related major general position on the Air Force staff be made a lieutenant general position.

“We want to up the rank of the nuclear forces within the Air Force,” she said. “Rank matters in the military, so that’s another thing that we’re doing.”

Additionally, James said, the testing environment that produced the cheating scandal has been revamped, and the inspections environment will also see changes.

“It had become this zero-defect mentality, where even the smallest of the small kinds of errors could cause an entire failure,” she explained. “That wasn’t a healthy environment.”

In the fall, James said, the Air Force also will introduce a variety of new financial incentives for the nuclear force “to kick it up a notch,” including offering accession bonuses for new officers’ ROTC scholarships and incentive pay.

James also noted 20th Air Force commander, Maj. Gen. Jack Weinstein, has issued a series of directives to the field designed to start to shift the culture.

“Now, you know memos don’t shift culture,” she said. “Leadership and time eventually shifts culture, but this is a start. This is designed to stop the micromanaging, to push down to the lower levels [and encourage] decision-making.”

All of that will help, James said.

“We didn’t get here overnight, and we’re not going to fix it overnight,” she added.

It will take persistent focus, leadership and attention for years to come, she said.

“With all of what I’ve just said, I’m certain that additional resources are probably still in order,” James said. “We’re going to have to talk about those resources as we get into the next [program objective memorandum] cycle.”

James said she believes the U.S. nuclear mission is a national mission for the entire Defense Department, not just the Air Force.

“So I’ll be talking to the deputy [defense] secretary, the secretary of defense [and] the senior leaders of DOD to see what we can do about this,” she said.

(Follow Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone Marshall on Twitter: @MarshallAFPS)

 http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=122502
 
« Last Edit: June 23, 2014, 09:20:10 AM by rangerrebew »
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Re: Air Force Secretary Outlines Changes for Nuclear Force
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2014, 01:14:12 AM »

Quote
The Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile was first deployed during the Nixon Administration. Though the missiles have been swapped out with a new skin and innards, the Air Force still uses the same ancient command and control infrastructure.

That technology, which the USAF uses to control and monitor the missiles, is crumbling:


– There’s more computing power in a first-generation iPhone than our ICBM force.
– Some replacement parts were built by companies that went out of business decades ago.
– Simple day-to-day tasks, routine during the peak of the Cold War, now take hours of wrench-turning, just to keep the deterrent on its feet.

http://nation.time.com/2013/01/23/the-nations-icbm-force-increasingly-creaky-broken-missiles/
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 01:19:22 AM by Trigger »

Offline Oceander

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Re: Air Force Secretary Outlines Changes for Nuclear Force
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2014, 09:52:53 AM »
* * *

There’s more computing power in a first-generation iPhone than our ICBM force.

* * *


That's not really a meaningful comparison since the two devices - iPhone and ICBM - are built for two utterly different purposes and must operate in two utterly different contexts.  While extremely annoying, having your iPhone crash in mid-conversation, or having the browser freeze, is not the end of the world; having the software in an ICBM stop working mid-flight could be catastrophic.

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Re: Air Force Secretary Outlines Changes for Nuclear Force
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2014, 06:50:30 PM »

That's not really a meaningful comparison since the two devices - iPhone and ICBM - are built for two utterly different purposes and must operate in two utterly different contexts.  While extremely annoying, having your iPhone crash in mid-conversation, or having the browser freeze, is not the end of the world; having the software in an ICBM stop working mid-flight could be catastrophic.



AC Delco used to make missile guidance for Titan II missiles. You can get the same power from a I Phone using GPS or the Russian version GLONASS. I personally own a Titan II missile gyroscope that was given to me. The Russians are spending millions of rubles to upgrade their missiles while our land missiles date back to the Nixon Administration and they are talking to streching the force until 2025.

http://books.google.com/books?id=QymEXZIWEe8C&pg=PA171&lpg=PA171&dq=AC+Delco+and+Missile+Gyroscopes&source=bl&ots=qcO6IJCxZ4&sig=riq-QudV_NtiaXLk56MPJnibCpQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=MACqU-SuL8idqAbhsoKQCA&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=AC%20Delco%20and%20Missile%20Gyroscopes&f=false

http://blog.nasm.si.edu/aviation/ballistic-missile-guidance-on-your-cell-phone/
« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 12:47:18 AM by Trigger »


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