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A small nuclear weapons faux pas
Posted by: coyotewhacker
Date: September 05, 2007 05:49PM
The news today carried a story about a B-52 bomber that flew from Minot AB, North Dakota down to Barksdale AFB outside Shreveport, LA with a cargo of six nuclear weapons that were "accidentally" loaded onto the aircraft. I spent several years in that business, and there ain't no such thing as "accidentally" loading a nuclear weapon on a mission capable aircraft.The Cold War days are over and we don't keep bombers sitting out at the end of the runway on three minute alert like the old days. The bombs are kept in special storage bunkers and you would not believe the procedures to get one out of storage and onto a "delivery platform", i.e. an airplane designed to deliver the weapon to a target.
I don't know what the current law says about little mistakes like that, but if this had happened back when Mr. Regan was president, several people would now be on their way to Federal prison for a long time, starting with the weapon custodian in the bunker, the team that took the weapon out without proper authorization, the officer and NCO in the command post who apparently let this pass unnoticed, the squadron commander of the aircraft, the wing commander at Minot, and probably the pilot who sat there like a dumbass and watched six weapons being attached to the pylons of his aircraft. SAC, now called StratCom , says they are going to ground the fleet next week and "review security procedures".....with a major screwup like this, it makes you wonder just how hard it will be for the local terrorist cell to drive up and drive away with a functional thermonuclear weapon that only needs a fuse and unlock of the triggering device to take out a city the size of New York. Yeah, I sleep good a night knowing that stuff like this is going on. Betcha the wing commander at Barksdale is sleeping with those babies tonight.
CW
MSgt Lynn, William W.
USAF, retired
one of those guys with the key around his neck for almost 10 years.

Re: A small nuclear weapons faux pas
Posted by: Hunter91
Date: September 18, 2007 07:00PM
Barksdale should have enough of their own Nukes. i wonder if they still keep any B52s armed with Nuclear bombs.



"We're burnin' daylight" John Wayne

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Re: A small nuclear weapons faux pas
Posted by: coyotewhacker
Date: September 19, 2007 07:55AM
The Buffs are still there, but the weapons are kept in special bunkers in heavily guarded areas. Back during the Cold War days there was always a group of two or three fully loaded B-52's sitting on 3 minute alert off the north end of the runway. They were easily visible from I-20 as you came into Bossier City. When the threat from the USSR dropped to much lower levels, those planes were taken off alert and the force went to a much more sustainable (and far less expensive) alert level.....now I think it is something along the line of 36 hours. The first line of defense is now the missile silos out where I hunt mule deer.
CW

Re: A small nuclear weapons faux pas
Posted by: Hunter91
Date: September 19, 2007 06:07PM
Yep. When I was growing up in Bossier, we did not live far from the North gate. It was a little hairy everytime they had a drill and stacked those B52s up taking off. I could hear the siren and just never knew if it was another drill or the real thing.



"We're burnin' daylight" John Wayne

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Re: A small nuclear weapons faux pas
Posted by: coyotewhacker
Date: September 20, 2007 08:22AM
I grew up about 75 miles west of there, and my house was right under the flight path of the Buffs and the KC-135 Flying Gas Stations. The ground would literally shake as they came over at about 3000 feet.
Our Explorer Post got to take a tour of the base one time, and we were taken (on a blue bus) right up to one of the planes that was on 30 minute alert. NOBODY got close to the 3 minute alert aircraft except the crew and maintenance personnel, and of course the security guys with itchy trigger fingers.
I sometimes think that if we really, really wanted to get Osama Bin Laden, the entire fleet of B-52's would be loaded up to capacity with Bouncing Bettys and the Air Force would start carpet bombing the mountains where he's hiding out. Eventually every one of the Taliban and other terrorists would have to either die in the conflagration or come out of the mountains to be shot like rats as they ran. No need for any more "interrogation" at Gitmo, no need for silk panties ACLU attorneys crying because enemy combatants/terrorists are not getting the "rights" reserved for American citizens, and certainly no need to have any trials. In one of Mel Gibson's earliest movies he played the part of an Australian soldier fighting under a British commander in Africa during the Boer war. A bleeding heart missionary was helping the Dutch side , in effect commiting treason. Gibson and two other Aussie soldiers shot the man as he was going to pass on important information to the other side. When the Brits tried them for war crimes, Mel said the missionary was "tried under Article .303, found guilty of treason under Article .303, and was duly executed under the provisions of Article .303." Three Oh Three, of course, refers to the standard British and Australian bolt action Enfield rifle used up through WW II. IMHO, anyone coming out of the mountains of eastern Afghanistan/western Pakistan should be tried under the provisions of Article 308, US Articles of War.
CW

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