Thursday, June 5, 2008



Air Force Secretary Michael Wynn, left, and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley, testify in Washington in this file photo.

Remember how everyone gave Obama a pass when his campaign put Porta-Potties on a Peace Officer Memorial?
Guess the Government and the Military still believe in the concept of Responsibility going to the top

By Bill Arthur

June 5 (Bloomberg) -- Air Force Chief of Staff Michael Moseley and Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne are resigning at the request of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a defense official said.

Gates scheduled a news conference later today to discuss the departures.

The departures are related to a number of Air Force problems in handling nuclear weapons and aren't the result of any policy disputes, the official said.

Admiral Kirkland Donald, director of naval nuclear propulsion, said in a recent report that Gates must make changes, according to the Air Force Times, a newspaper serving Air Force personnel.

Last October, three senior officers were relieved of command for their roles in mistakenly allowing a B-52 bomber to fly from North Dakota to Louisiana carrying six cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads.

Less than two weeks ago, the same Air Force unit that was responsible for mishandling the cruise missiles failed key parts of a nuclear safety inspection, the Washington Post reported.

The 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota was given a grade of ``unacceptable'' in the security of nuclear weapons and a ``marginal'' grade at management and administration by the Pentagon's Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Post said. These failures were in the same two areas that allowed the missiles to be flown, the paper said.

Shipment of Fuses

Another controversy involved the Air Force's erroneous shipment of fuses for nuclear missiles to Taiwan in 2006. The mistake was revealed only in March, a disclosure that strained relations with Taiwan and prompted Gates to order a complete inventory of U.S. nuclear weapons and components.

President George W. Bush nominated Wynne to the top Air Force post in August 2005. At that time he was the Defense Department's No. 2 acquisition official. Prior to that, he held a variety of senior positions at General Dynamics Corp., retiring in 1999 as senior vice president, according to his biography on the Defense Department's Web site.

Wynne received his bachelor's degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served as a captain in the Air Force. He received master's degrees from the Air Force Institute of Technology and the University of Colorado.

Moseley took office in November 2005. He has been in the Air Force for more than 30 years, serving in a variety of commands.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bill Schmick in Washington at

Last Updated: June 5, 2008 15:23 EDT

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