The Air Force will move away from implicitly requiring perfect test scores from its nuclear missile-launch officers, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports.
The service formally requires a score of 90 percent for its missileers to pass routine tests for certification to serve in underground launch-control centers for the U.S. arsenal of 450 Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missiles. However, there has often been a tacit understanding in the service’s nuclear-missile branch that officers had to score 100 percent on the tests or risk seeing their career prospects diminished.
Air Force leaders have blamed that so-called “culture of perfection” for motivating dozens of young launch-control officers to cheat on the exams — or look the other way when their colleagues cheated. An official investigation into test-taking misconduct at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., resulted in the service last month firing a number of mid-level officers at the base for failing to sufficiently supervise the officers beneath them.
The commander of the 20th Air Force, which oversees all Minuteman 3 missiles, told the Tribune Eagle that he is working to shift how “perfect” is construed. Still, he said the public should continue to expect that nuclear missiles will be handled without error.
“You don’t have to be perfect in testing, and you don’t have to be perfect in training,” Maj. Gen. Jack Weinstein said. “But you do have to be perfect when you are doing the mission.”
The two-star general said 350 recommendations on how to improve the ICBM mission have been received as part of an expansive study that surveyed Air Force nuclear-missile officers and work crews. Weinstein said he and other service brass accept nearly all of the recommendations.
The test-cheating revelations “may be a tough pill to swallow, but I really believe that with everything that has happened, good is going to come out of this and make us stronger,” he said.
What We're Following See More »
After more than a month of back and forth, a failed bill, and GOP embarrassment, the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus has announced that it will support the Obamacare replacement legislation in its most recent iteration. Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the caucus, said the roughly 30 members of the caucus view this compromise as the best option short of a full repeal. A recent amendment, authored by Meadows and Rep. Tom McArthur, co-chair of the more moderate Tuesday Group, would allow states to apply for waivers exempting them from provisions forbidding insurers from charging higher prices to those with pre-existing conditions if the state set up a high-risk pool. The plan's passage in the House is not a done deal though, as a number of moderate lawmakers have resisted supporting the amendment.
"A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer fired a warning flare toward an Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessel coming near it in the Persian Gulf. The incident happened Monday as the vessel closed to within 1,000 meters of the USS Mahan, "despite the destroyer trying to turn away from it." After attempting to contact the Iranian vessel and sounding its whistle, it deployed the flare. After that, the ship had had enough and turned away.
U.S. District Judge William Orrick Tuesday blocked the Trump administration from enforcing part of an executive order calling for the end of federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities. The decision was followed by a scathing rebuke from the White House, a precedent-breaking activity which with this White House has had no qualms. A White House statement called the decision an "egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge." The statement was followed by an inaccurate Wednesday morning tweetstorm from Trump, which railed against the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. While Judge Orrick's district falls within the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit, Orrick himself does not serve on the Ninth Circuit.
"House Republicans are circulating the text of an amendment to their ObamaCare replacement bill that they believe could bring many conservatives on board. According to legislative text of the amendment," drafted by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), "the measure would allow states to apply for waivers to repeal one of ObamaCare’s core protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Conservatives argue the provision drives up premiums for healthy people, but Democrats—and many more moderate Republicans—warn it would spark a return to the days when insurance companies could charge sick people exorbitantly high premiums."