The Air Force has recertified 17 of the 19 launch control officers assigned to the 91st Missile Wing at Minot AFB, N.D., who earlier this year lost their certification, said Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, head of Air Force Global Strike Command, last week. Service officials temporarily sidelined these airmen after their poor performance in one part of a unit inspection; they had to undergo retraining. Of the remaining two crew members, one “is still undergoing disciplinary actions” while the other had a permanent change of station and “moved to another position that doesn’t require certification,” said Kowalski during a July 31 talk on Capitol Hill. AFA sponsored this event, together with the National Defense Industrial Association and Reserve Officers Association. Kowalski also said the Air Force needs to change its inspection regime, standards, and training for nuclear operators, noting that a recurring theme in the Defense Science Board’s 2008 report on the Air Force’s nuclear enterprise was the service’s lack of critical self-assessment. (For more coverage of Kowalski’s talk, see CONECT the Dots.)
Adm. Christopher Grady, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs and head of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, is pushing a “portfolio” approach to requirements and wants his position to have “more teeth” so he can enforce it.