And Senior Lawmakers Weigh In: Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, expressed his gratitude to Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and Air Force Gen. Michael Moseley, Chief of Staff, for their many years of service on the news June 5 that they are stepping down. However, in a statement, Levin said Defense Secretary Robert Gates “took appropriate action” in accepting their resignations. His counterpart, Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, similarly said Wynne and Moseley “have earned our deep respect and gratitude.” But he, too, said he fully understands “the importance of properly handling and securing nuclear weapons and components” and the errant transfer of nuclear armed cruise missiles last year and the misshipment of missile nose cones to Taiwan—for which Gates faulted USAF’s leadership—“should never have happened” (see above). Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.) who oversees DOD nuclear-related issues as chair of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, issued a release, stating that Gates “made the right decision by accepting” their resignations. Despite Wynne’s and Moseley’s “long and patriotic contributions,” these changes should serve as an opportunity “to correct major cultural and systemic flaws” in USAF’s handling of nuclear materials, she wrote.
An Active-Duty Airman set himself on fire in front of the Israeli Embassy this afternoon, the Air Force confirmed to Air & Space Forces Magazine. The man, who was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition, has not yet been publicly identified.