A Montana nuclear-missile base said it plans to take on 216 new staffers to help improve working conditions for its personnel, KRTV reports.
"The 216 personnel positions Malmstrom [Air Force Base] is receiving is a portion of the more than 1,100 total manning spots approved by [U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James] and divvied throughout [Air Force Global Strike Command]," Col. Marné Deranger, 341st Missile Wing vice commander, said in a news release.
Deranger said the service is adding the new personnel under its Force Improvement Program, which covers the country's three strategic-missile bases in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming. The missile force was beset by a number of scandals in the last year that revealed widespread exam-cheating at Malmstrom, allegations of drug possession by some missile control officers, and problems fully adhering to security regulations while on missile-launch duty.
"The program is looking at better ways of doing business and pushing decision-making responsibility down to the lowest levels," Deranger said. "Some of the approved recommendations include enhancing leadership development, re-aligning nuclear inspections into the broader Air Force Inspection System, and returning the Personnel Reliability Program to being a commander's program."
She added that the Air Force is "changing the definition of perfection" for nuclear-force personnel.
"We need to be perfect as a system, not perfect as individuals. We need to ensure we train people properly by not holding them to a standard that's unacceptable. In the past, if you didn't get 100 on every test, that was a negative. That's not where we need people to be perfect."
This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.