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Air Force Nuke Officers.........
Old 05-08-2013, 11:59 AM   #1
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Air Force Nuke Officers.........

AP Exclusive: Air Force sidelines 17 nuke officers
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:23 PM   #2
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Reminds me of an early 1980's movie called War Games. I wouldn't want the job myself.
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:40 PM   #3
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My guess is that most of these officers will soon be joining the ER Forum.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:00 PM   #4
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:14 PM   #5
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Of all the news stories today from Cleveland, Phoenix, DC, NY this is the most disturbing one. As a retired Army officer, 17 officer firings in one unit is a stunning event. More general officer heads will roll.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:49 PM   #6
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I've been in their shoes, albeit on a ballistic missile submarine rather than a silo. It truly is an awesome responsibility, and there is no room for error or bad attitude. If the young lieutenants and captains can't deal with it, they should request transfer out of the strategic missile force.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:58 PM   #7
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I've been in their shoes, albeit on a ballistic missile submarine rather than a silo. It truly is an awesome responsibility, and there is no room for error or bad attitude. If the young lieutenants and captains can't deal with it, they should request transfer out of the strategic missile force.
Absolutely inexcusable but I have to wonder what their world must be like now compared to what it was like when the Cold War was in full swing. It is more than a little scary to think the folks with their hands on the launch keys are unappreciated and unmotivated.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:59 PM   #8
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This is a quote that inspires confidence -

"And he stressed that launch crew members typically are relatively junior officers lieutenants and captains with limited service experience."
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:04 PM   #9
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Lets be honest, the chances of any of those nukes ever being fired is slim to none and everyone including the nuke officers knows that. If they ever do need to be fired it doesn't take a genius to do it. Just someone who will follow orders. You don't need to be a experienced or grizzled veteran. I worked at a nuke site in the mid 80s and it was the most boring thing Ive ever done in my life.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:44 AM   #10
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Attitude problems in the ranks most often are the result of sorry senior managament leadership.

A good example in the article is the gutless manner of removing the underperformers via a piss poorly worded email. Email? for christ sake, Folds, whoever he is did not have the balls to show up in person. He should be canned fortwith.

I have w*ked in a commercial power generating nuke plant, yeah it can be boring, but screwups can result in disaster. Therefore you pay attention.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:57 AM   #11
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Lets be honest, the chances of any of those nukes ever being fired is slim to none and everyone including the nuke officers knows that. If they ever do need to be fired it doesn't take a genius to do it. Just someone who will follow orders. You don't need to be a experienced or grizzled veteran. I worked at a nuke site in the mid 80s and it was the most boring thing Ive ever done in my life.
My thoughts exactly, has to be some of the worst and most boring duty ever. Talk about groundhog day in spades.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:34 AM   #12
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I was a SAC trained killer as we called ourselves jokingly. A conehead or missilier. It is boring duty and was a monotonous existence even during the cold war when I served. The young Lt's and Capt's live and work in a different world than I experienced. It's more PC now with female officers in the mix. Minot North Dakota is not the end of the world, but you can see it from there. A very tough place for a young guy in his 20's to be stationed, there's a woman behind every tree. Colder than hell, flat as can be and 13 miles to the town of minot. Not sure what real civilization is but the nearest populated area is a long long drive. The big selling point of ICBM duty was being able to work on an advanced degree while pulling alert. I think I read that tuition assistance has been suspended, if that is so the benefits of serving as a missilier are gone. Plum assignments, medals, advanced promotion, etc always went to guys wearing the universal managment badge.....pilots wings. Without them you are second class citizen in the USAF officer corp. There are reasons overall morale is so poor. When a problem is this wide spread the root cause is the environment and the managers who create it, not the worker bees. Typical, blame the low man on the totem pole.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:35 PM   #13
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Minot North Dakota is not the end of the world, but you can see it from there. A very tough place for a young guy in his 20's to be stationed, there's a woman behind every tree. Colder than hell, flat as can be and 13 miles to the town of minot. Not sure what real civilization is but the nearest populated area is a long long drive.
Try the North Atlantic at 400 feet and 4 knots to nowhere, when you haven't seen the sun, breathed fresh air or had any communication with the outside world for 67 days. Tending to the missiles and running a nuclear reactor on a vessel designed to sink, all the while being hunted by Soviet attack subs.

Notwithstanding all those joys of submarining, when we heard those ominous words "Conn -- Radio -- Receiving Flash Traffic", we took it seriously and we strove for perfection every single time. Fortunately, it was always a WSRT (weapons system readiness test) and not a strategic launch, but you never could tell immediately that it was not the latter.

I knew from the day I started that I would do my five and out, but I still felt that the nation had invested me with a sacred trust and I worked hard to live up to it. I would hope that those following in my footsteps would feel the same sense of obligation.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:58 AM   #14
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Gamby, not to dimiss, the tedious and more dangerous ballistic submarine duty (although the missile I was babysitting was old and liquid fueled, a 1/2 part per million breath of oxidizer was a fatal dose). A submarine crew can look forward to returning to civilization after so many months and I believe stay there for awhile until the next patrol. Assignments like Minot are for a minimum of 4 years, a long time with no relief in sight except an occasional leave back home or where ever if you could afford it. I think you and I served at a different time, the cold war brought a sense of urgency to the mission.
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:11 PM   #15
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"Y-not Minot...lol". TAC trained killer! I never made it to Minot (fortunately) but I did date a girl once or twice in Denver that was headed there after tech school.....
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:05 PM   #16
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Gamby, not to dimiss, the tedious and more dangerous ballistic submarine duty (although the missile I was babysitting was old and liquid fueled, a 1/2 part per million breath of oxidizer was a fatal dose). A submarine crew can look forward to returning to civilization after so many months and I believe stay there for awhile until the next patrol. Assignments like Minot are for a minimum of 4 years, a long time with no relief in sight except an occasional leave back home or where ever if you could afford it. I think you and I served at a different time, the cold war brought a sense of urgency to the mission.
Fair enough. On boomers, we had two separate crews. Each of us had the boat for 3 months at a time. When we were "off crew", we had normal office workdays in New London, CT, where we mostly did training and administrative work. If you know you only need to suck it up for 3 months at a time, it greatly improves your attitude.

And I agree on the Cold War -- I was on active duty from 1981-86, and I was never entirely certain that we would not launch our missiles. In fact, I thought it quite likely that I would die trying desperately to launch the next missile as the Soviet attack boats finally caught up with us.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:18 PM   #17
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I was at Whiteman AFB (Minuteman II $ III) for 3 years underground and turned down a new assignment to Minot in 1969. Best decision I ever made.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:23 PM   #18
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17 junior officers all with bad attitudes? Sorry, but I do not believe it. New secretary of defense Nagel has said in the past that we should get rid of nukes and soon after he takes over this is the headline. It smells very political to me.
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:20 AM   #19
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The USAF very recently split the nuclear missile career field from the space career field. AF splits space, missile career field for officers

Very few people actually volunteer for nuclear missiles (yes, some do). Most saw it as the way to get into space launches and satellite ops after paying their dues in a silo. So, these 17 guys were looking at spending the next 20 years in a missile silo in Minot, or Cheyenne, or Malmstrom with no chance of doing the sexy space launches from California or Florida.
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:25 AM   #20
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It is interesting reading the account of what my life might have been life if I had chose a different path. I entered AFROTC, with a pilot license, but knew my lack of 20/20 vision kept me from being a pilot. However, I expected to a navigator, weapons officer etc. When my vision turned out not to be good enough even to make as flight crew, I was pretty disappointed. My ROTC adviser tried to convince me that Minuteman operator was good career path.

"We spend a lot of time playing risk, and you can also get a master degree, I got an MBA. When you are out of the silo you can do what you want."

Still this CA boy wasn't believing the story that you get use to the cold weather. Anyway I quit ROTC, but part of me always wondered how I would have like the Air Force, I guess Minot wasn't a prime posting.
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