Air Force leaders ousted in historic shake-up


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Jun 9, 2006
And the heads are still rolling.

Air Force leaders ousted in historic shake-up

AP Military Writer
June 5, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates ousted the Air Force's top officials Thursday, holding them to account in a historic military shake-up for failing to ensure the security of sensitive materials, including nuclear missile warhead fuses that were mistakenly shipped to Taiwan.

Gates announced at a Pentagon news conference that he had accepted the resignations of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley and Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne - a highly unusual double firing.

Gates cited two embarrassing incidents in the past year. In one, a B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and flown across the country without anyone realizing nuclear weapons were aboard.

In the other, four electrical fuses for ballistic missile warheads were mistakenly sent to Taiwan in the place of helicopter batteries. Gates said an internal investigation found a common theme in the B-52 and Taiwan incidents: "a decline in the Air Force's nuclear mission focus and performance."

From "goldenboys" to "red-headed step-children" in 5 years, kind of tough on the AF these days.

I imagine the atmospere around the 4E3 corridors of the Pentagon is rather grim right about now. Yikes!:frown:
That's gonna leave a mark! :eek:

I bet the firings will keep coming, especially since these two just got the boot.
I don't know much about either Gen Mosely or Sec Wynne or the issue here- but Nuke surety is no small matter and somebody needed to take a hit. I think that Sec Def appears to be restoring some accountability of leadership. To be in Command is to be responsible and I think that we've drifted away from that principle a lot. Think about a few of the bigger FUBARs of the last few years- Abu Ghraib was a major blow to the US aims in Iraq and the mideast (not to mention conduct at odds with core US values), and yet the only significant punishments meted out were to a couple of junior enlisted personnel. No senior Army leadership took a hit over the whole Pat Tillman fiasco. So- Gen Mosely and SecAF are basically being "shot" "pour l'encouragement des autres".
Don't forget the 50 million dollar contract with the Thunderbirds didn't make Moseley look good and Wynne seemed to look the other way. The company that got the contract had strong ties to Hal Hornburg (SAF's good bud) The company that lost contract developed the technology, were considered experts and had a bid millions lower.

The recently fired President of MSU was a retired 4 star in the AF. No one wanted to work for this man. Made young E-1 to E-4 pull weeds and paint buildings around the base after their regular shifts of 12 to 15 hours of work (these guys have been doing 2 and 3 peoples jobs because of the deployments). He by name requested O-6s to jobs they weren't quailfied for because he wanted his golfing buddies around. He was old school and a control freak.

The GOs tend be either really good guys who care about their people or others who just worry about looking good to the guy above them, the people under these guys suffer because of it.

Gates has said more heads will roll. Lets hope the good guys stick around.