Two Air Force nuclear commanders have been fired, with a third facing disciplinary measures, after the service cited a “loss of confidence” in their ability to lead their units, once again drawing attention to troubles within the US nuclear corps.
The terminations come as the Air Force continues to reckon with leadership problems. Earlier this year, nine nuclear commanders were fired in connection to a test-cheating scandal, which implicated dozens of missile launch officers.
Col. Carl Jones, the No. 2 commander of the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, was the most high-profile of the two commanders to be dismissed on Monday. Jones was responsible for 150 Minuteman 3 nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles – the Air Force has 450 total – but his superiors determined there was “a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership abilities.”
According to Air Force Global Strike Command spokesman Lt. Col. John Sheets, Jones displayed conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman, as well as mistreatment of those below his rank.
“In four separate instances, Jones acted in a manner that degraded his status as a senior officer and wing leader, including maltreating a subordinate,” Sheets told AP.
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