Adding to signs of distress in the nuclear force, the Air Force fired two commanders and disciplined a third in response to internal investigations of leadership lapses and misbehavior at two of its three intercontinental ballistic missile bases.
The most senior officer to be relieved was Col. Carl Jones, the No. 2 commander of the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, in charge of 150 of the Air Force’s 450 Minuteman 3 nuclear ICBMs. He was dismissed “for a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership abilities,” and has been reassigned as a special assistant to the wing commander.
The actions Monday were confirmed to The Associated Press in response to an AP inquiry about an internal Air Force investigation of two commanders at the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, which also is responsible for 150 Minuteman 3 missiles. A separate investigation was conducted at F.E. Warren.
The Air Force nuclear missile corps has suffered a rash of recent setbacks, including the firing last year of its top commander.