A B-52, inadvertently armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, was flown from Minot, near the Canadian border, to Barksdale in Louisiana, near the Gulf of Mexico and nobody noticed the mistake for over a day.
“There has been an erosion of adherence to weapons-handling standards at Minot Air Force Base and Barksdale Air Force Base,” said Maj. Gen. Richard Newton, the Air Force deputy chief of staff for operations, after a six-week probe into the incident.
According to ButHans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists a decline in Air Force standards for nuclear weapons maintenance and security was documented by the government a decade ago.
Newton acknowledged that the Air Force needs to: “restore the confidence; lost among the American people after the August incident, which raised questions about the safety of the country’s nuclear arsenal."
And Wynne said: “We are making all appropriate changes to ensure this has a minimal chance of ever happening again."
It must be comforting for Americans to know that there will be a minimal chance of a re-occurrence. Imagine if one had been fired. Who would they find to blame?