Rectifying an “Isolated Incident”:

Maj. Gen. Richard Newton III, briefing Pentagon reporters Friday on the six-week Air Combat Command commander-directed investigation of the August “Bent Spear” incident, said that the CDI group believes this was an “isolated incident” due to an “erosion of adherence to weapons-handling standards” at both Minot AFB, N.D., and Barksdale AFB, La. As a result, the Air Force is aggressively looking at and implementing corrective measures to weapons handling and transfer processes. In addition to action against several senior officers (see above), the Air Force has taken a service-wide inventory of all its nuclear weapons and discovered no discrepancies. Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne has ordered nuclear safety surety inspections, overseen by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Newton said, too, that Air Combat Command has decertified the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot from “conducting its wartime missions” and has suspended tactical ferry operations for the Advanced Cruise Missiles being consolidated at one location for future elimination.