The Air Force fired the general in charge of its nuclear missiles on Friday, just two days after a Navy admiral with top nuclear weapons responsibilities was sacked. Both men are caught up in investigations of alleged personal misconduct, adding to a cascade of turmoil inside the nation’s nuclear weapons force.
The Air Force removed Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, a 35-year veteran, from his command of 20th Air Force, responsible for all 450 of the service’s intercontinental ballistic missiles. Carey…will be reassigned pending the outcome of an investigation into personal misbehavior, the service said.
The Air Force would not specify what Carey is alleged to have done wrong, but two officials with knowledge of the investigation indicated that it was linked to alcohol use…
Removing senior officers in the nuclear force is rare but has happened twice this week.
On Wednesday the Navy said Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, the second-in-charge at U.S. Strategic Command, was fired amid an investigation of gambling issues. He was demoted from three- to two-star rank and reassigned to a Navy staff job until the investigation is completed.
Together, the Carey and Giardina firings add a new dimension to a set of serious problems facing the military’s nuclear force. The ICBM segment in particular has had several recent setbacks, including a failed safety and security inspection at a base in Montana in August, followed by the firing of the colonel there in charge of security forces. In May, The Associated Press revealed that 17 Minuteman 3 missile launch control officers at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., had been taken off duty in a reflection of what one officer there called ‘‘rot’’ inside the ICBM force…
The only anonymous comments so far are from people obviously glad to say that sex and crime weren’t involved. There’s a hell of a comment on what our military is all about. I won’t wander off into my usual rant about the money we waste with over 750 foreign bases. Suffice it to say the cost of every member of every military service stationed outside the United States costs taxpayers double what it would be if they were here at home. Isn’t this what we’re supposed to be defending? Not Guam. Not Kazakhstan. Not the Azores.
If we did bring our troops home from the 150 or so countries where they’re stationed, we could put them to work, you know. Only a dimwit tries to ignore the infrastructure continuing to collapse around us. Highways, railroads, bridges, airports, schools – all could use something more than a lick of paint to bring them up to safe standards. We wouldn’t be the first nation to assign our military to useful domestic tasks. I think it’s overdue.