Montana Nuclear-Missile Base to Get Hundreds More Workers

July 18, 2014, 9:49 a.m.

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.”

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