Air Force Global Strike Command boss Lt. Gen. James Kowalski relieved Maj. Gen. Michael Carey of duty as 20th Air Force commander “due to a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership and judgment,” announced the command. The numbered air force, headquartered at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., oversees the Air Force’s three Minuteman III ICBM wings, which constitute one leg of the nation’s nuclear triad. Kowalski said he based his decision on information that came to light in an inspector general’s investigation into Carey’s behavior during a temporary duty assignment, according to the command’s Oct. 11 release. “It’s unfortunate that I’ve had to relieve an officer who’s had an otherwise distinctive career spanning 35 years of commendable service,” said Kowalski. He added, “20th AF continues to execute its mission of around-the-clock nuclear deterrence in a safe, secure, and effective manner.” AFGSC did not offer additional details on the allegations, other than they were “not related to operational readiness or the inspection results of any 20th AF unit, nor do they involve sexual misconduct.” Carey led 20th AF since June 2012. Maj. Gen. Jack Weinstein, AFGSC vice commander, will serve as 20th AF’s interim commander. Carey’s removal came roughly one week after President Obama relieved US Strategic Command’s deputy commander.
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."