The Air Force recently announced that it had suspended the security clearances of 34 nuclear missile launch officials, from the commanding officer on down, due to allegations of irresponsible behavior and cheating on the proficiency exam that personnel must pass before becoming a part of the nuclear force. Investigators apparently came across that information while searching for evidence that the officials were involved in a drug ring.
Giving personal attention to the issue, Secretary of Defense and ASP founding member, Chuck Hagel, has summoned top military officials to the Pentagon for a conference to be held within two weeks. The nuclear summit, to be lead by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, will seek to raise and address any personnel problems within the nuclear force.
Hagel has also said he will bring together a small group of outside experts within the nuclear security arena to conduct a broader review of the U.S. nuclear force. He wants them to make recommendations based on the changes needed “that would help ensure the continued safety, security and effectiveness of our nuclear forces.” An “action plan” is to be written within 60 days of the meeting.
Secretary Hagel’s spokesman, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, stated on Thursday:
“To the degree there are systemic problems in the training and professional standards of the nuclear career field, the secretary wants them solved. To the degree there are gaps in our understanding or implementation of those standards, he wants them closed. And to the degree leaders have failed in their duties, he wants them held to account.”
Check out the latest on this issue from – The Associated Press