Several high-level military officials at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota were relieved of duty this week after their units failed a nuclear weapons safety inspection, CNN reported.
Sources claimed the Air Force moved after “noncompliance vehicle and equipment safety inspections” showed that the base was ill-prepared to protect its ballistic missile silos and strategic bombers.
CNN said the commanders of the 5th Mission Support Group, consisting of 1,600 personnel charged with caring for the base, and the 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron, which plans deployments and manages supply chains, were the main departures.
Four of the commanders’ subordinates were also relieved of duty.
The terminations first were made public through 8th Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Andrew J. Gebara’s Monday statement. There, he attributed the decisions to “a loss of confidence in their ability to complete their assigned duties.”
“These personnel actions were necessary to maintain the very high standards we demand of those units entrusted with supporting our nation’s nuclear mission,” Gebara said.
“Eighth Force continues to safeguard global combat power and conduct around-the-clock strategic deterrence operations in a safe, secure, and effective manner,” he continued. “Our mission is foundational to our nation’s defense, and we remain committed to the success of that no-fail mission.”
After being probed for further questions on the move by CNN, Air Force Global Strike Command spokesman Col. Brus E. Vidal could not validate the anonymous defense sources or elaborate on the inspection’s specific nature.
“We have deliberate and disciplined inspection protocols, and we expect 100% compliance,” Vidal said. “Anything less than 100% compliance is unacceptable. It’s that important to us.”
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There is no indication that the failed inspection was related to the handling of a nuclear weapon itself, according to the network. Read more at Newsmax.