Missile Wing Falls Short in Inspection

The 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Mont., fell short in its just-concluded nuclear surety inspection, receiving an “unsatisfactory” rating, announced Air Force Global Strike Command on Tuesday. The wing made “tactical-level errors during one of several exercises conducted during the inspection,” which the command’s inspector general team carried out Aug. 5-13, states the command’s Aug. 13 release. “This failure resulted in the entire inspection being graded ‘unsatisfactory,'” states the release. The wing oversees 150 of the nation’s 450 Minuteman III ICBMs, which are a leg of the US strategic nuclear triad. Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski, AFGSC boss, said a failed inspection does not mean that the safety of the nation’s nuclear arsenal is at risk. “These inspections are designed to be tough to pass,” he said. “A failure doesn’t mean the wing isn’t able to accomplish its mission.” Rather, Kowalski said identifying discrepancies is part of the process to ensure that the nuclear arsenal is safe, secure, and effective. The IG team will return to Malmstrom within 90 days “to inspect appropriate aspects” of the wing, states the release.