I’ve been thinking years about doing this, and finally got around to it . . .
I’ve been thinking years about doing this, and finally got around to it . . .
And the Florida bases ought to be a hoot, especially if they finish before all the other bases . . .
Now we get to see just how well arithmetic has been promoted among the U.S. nuclear Strategic Integrated Operation Plan by the Bush administration . . . (courtesy of that network hosting that dreamy Anderson Cooper – well, he’d be dreamy if I swung that way, which I don’t – CNN)
Pentagon: Inventory ordered of all U.S. nukesFrom Barbara Starr
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Defense Secretary Robert Gates has formally ordered the Air Force, Navy and Defense Logistics Agency to conduct an inventory of all U.S. nuclear weapons and nuclear weapon-related materials to make sure all items are accounted for, according to a Pentagon memo released Thursday.Defense Secretary Robert Gates orders an inventory of all U.S. nuclear weapons and related materials.
Gates’ memo, issued Wednesday, calls for all items to be accounted for by serial number.
Pentagon officials said at a news conference Tuesday that Gates would call for the review in addition to a full investigation into how the shipment to Taiwan from a Defense Logistics Agency warehouse happened 18 months ago.
The inventory review, which will involve thousands of items, is due to Gates in 60 days. Pentagon officials said the request was ordered, in part, because this latest incident comes after the August 2007 accidental flight of six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles on a B-52 bomber across the country.
“At a minimum, your report should include the results of the inventory and your personal assessment of the adequacy of your respective department or agency’s positive inventory control policies and procedures,” Gates said in the memo.
Four officers — including three colonels — were relieved of duty last year after a B-52 bomber mistakenly carried six nuclear warheads from North Dakota to Louisiana, the Air Force said.
A six-week investigation uncovered a “lackadaisical” attention to detail in day-to-day operations at the bases involved in the incident, an Air Force report said.
I’m of the mind that this is one area where the Bush administration take full advantage of the private sector – hire college students and other non-traditional workers to do the inventory starting at midnight and finishing within four hours so the floor crew can get the buffing done before 6 a.m.
The only problem is; having to remove all those pink and yellow count tags before using the bombs and cruise missiles.
Those wild and crazy guys over at the Federation of American Scientists have another neat piece of learning software that’ll make ‘duck and cover’ absolutely uncool . . . . literally.
The Nuclear Weapons Calculator (or Nucular Weapons Calculator to our dumbass buddy at Pennsy Ave.) lets you decide just how much destruction to wreak on your favorite American city.
Stiletto: the yield range for Washington D.C. will encompass your favorite Virginia state legislator’s house, hint hint . . . .
And while you’re going MAD on your favorite metropolitan area, here’s a little mood music . . . .
|A B-52 bomber mistakenly loaded with five nuclear warheads flew from Minot Air Force Base, N.D, to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., on Aug. 30, resulting in an Air Force-wide investigation, according to three officers who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the incident.The B-52 was loaded with Advanced Cruise Missiles, part of a Defense Department effort to decommission 400 of the ACMs. But the nuclear warheads should have been removed at Minot before being transported to Barksdale, the officers said. The missiles were mounted onto the pylons of the bomber’s wings.read article here|
What I love is the name of the website – The Town Talk.
Mrs. Humphreys recently went to visit her daughter and son-in-law in Metairie. The Daughters of the American Revolution on Thursday held their annual tea party. A B-52H brought five special visitors to town in time for the parish church rummage sale.
And here’s our special visitor . . . . (makes it sound like an out-of-wedlock birth, eh?)
Jump in my Stratofortress
It’s as big as a whale
And we’re about to set saillllllllll
It’s small comfort, but the U.S. military really does try to make it as hard as possible for folks to arm these little party favors. Having had an immediate relative who was part of an arming party for tactical nukes, I can say with some measure of knowledge that they don’t have electrical power to the warhead arming and detonation circuits unless you physically open one up and connect the ‘device’s’ battery properly. It’s not exactly the sort of task one can do unauthorized without being noticed and probably shot and killed unless you have a whole lot of people in on a conspiracy. (Where’s SPECTRE when you need them?)
But last week’s little spectacle makes one wonder just how far up ther collective ass, the heads of Minot AFB’s nuke weapons, armorer and flightline safety staffs were that day. Not to mention the watch staff and involved aircraft commander from the bomb wing in question.
As for their indestructibility, yeah, they’re pretty damned tough if mishandled. But there have been some really ‘fun’ incidents, like . . .
“January 24, 1961, Goldsboro, North Carolina
In what nearly became a nuclear catastrophe, a B-52 bomber on airborne alert carrying two nuclear weapons broke apart in midair. The B-52 experienced structural failure in its right wing and the aircraft’s resulting breakup released the two weapons from a height of 2,000-10,000 feet. One of the bomb’s parachutes deployed properly and that weapon’s damage was minimal. However, the second bomb’s parachute malfunctioned and the weapon broke apart upon impact, scattering its components over a wide area. According to Daniel Ellsberg, the weapon could have accidentally fired because “five of the six safety devices had failed.” Nuclear physicist Ralph E. Lapp supported this assertion, saying that “only a single switch” had “prevented the bomb from detonating and spreading fire and destruction over a wide area.”
Despite an extensive search of the waterlogged farmland where the weapon was believed to have landed, the bomb’s highly enriched uranium core was never recovered. In order to prevent any discovery of the lost portion of the weapon, the Air Force purchased an easement which required that permission be obtained before any construction or digging could begin in the area. Three crew members were killed in the crash.
The accident was apparently so serious that it was reported to newly-elected President John F. Kennedy. According to Newsweek, President Kennedy was informed after the accident that “there had been more than 60 accidents involving nuclear weapons” since World War II, “including two cases in which nuclear-tipped anti-aircraft missiles were actually launched by inadvertence.” As a result of the Goldsboro accident, the U.S. placed many new safety devices on its nuclear arsenal and the Soviet Union was encouraged to do the same.”
Thank you, Department of Defense, for making me feel safe at night.
“An astounded member of the U.S. delegation said the bomber was not for sale but that it would cost at least $500 million if it were to be sold on the spot.
“That is no problem. It is such a cool machine,” the Russian was quoted as saying by the newspaper, which said its reporter overheard the conversation.”
I hear they did entertain an offer to sell Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, Cindy Wilson and Keith Strickland . . . .
I was taking a break from the sheer pleasure of writing HTML code this afternoon and riffling through my pile of unbuilt model kits when I found my F-106 Delta Dart – a true Cold War icon in its own perverse way.
Sorting through the box’s contents, I saw the parts for one of the Dart’s more ‘interesting’ weapons – the AIR-2 Genie. Rain and Metro‘ll both appreciate this one, since Canada’s government also saw fit to get in on the act.
And what does a Genie do? Well, be thankful that it’s not around anymore to grant its masters’ wish.
My most sincere apologies to Donald Fagen but, still, what a great song.
Anyway, fresh from the Frontier Editor archives deep under Cheyenne Mountain, Wyoming, here’s some excerpts from that seminal 1961 literary work, “Fallout Protection: What to Know and Do About Nuclear Attack.” (Dick Cheney and I have an understanding: I keep my collection there and he doesn’t let loose with the birdshot and start injuring all the Air Force security police.)
Anyway, for your viewing pleasure and in preparation for our peaceful Islamic Iranian Republic friends . . .