US Air Force: Nuke Inspection Finds 2 Wings Unsatisfactory
News in Balance:
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio, Nov. 25, 2009 -- Air Force Materiel Command nuclear surety inspections of two wings at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., last week found deficiencies which led to an overall rating of unsatisfactory. An NSI is designed to thoroughly evaluate a unit's ability to manage nuclear resources while complying with all nuclear standards, and takes place every 18 months.
"Unsatisfactory inspection results should not be interpreted as suggesting that the ultimate security, safety or health of the American people has been put at risk," said Gen. Don Hoffman, AFMC commander. "However, we must meet the highest standards of safety, security and reliability in maintaining the nuclear force. Anything less than full compliance is not acceptable."
Inspectors from AFMC and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency concluded an integrated inspection of the 377th Air Base Wing and 498th Nuclear Systems Wing and found significant deficiencies in both wings.
More than 85 DTRA and AFMC inspectors extensively evaluated both wings for six days in 13 major graded areas to include management and administration, technical operations, security, logistics movement, safety, storage, facilities and supply support. Although both wings excelled in some areas, deficiencies were observed in security, the personnel reliability program and maintenance activities.
Inspectors did note the units were implementing immediate plans to correct deficiencies. Also, the AFMC Inspector General recognized 12 individuals and five teams for their superior performance during the NSI.
The mission of the inspected units continues while they work to refine their capabilities, processes and procedures. AFMC officials will track progress and re-inspect both units by late February, 2010, in accordance with established Department of Defense and Air Force guidance.
(Report from a U.S. Air Force news release.)