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"Nukes accidentally loaded on bomber" - even dumber than I thought. - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-05-02 11:35
  Subject:   "Nukes accidentally loaded on bomber" - even dumber than I thought.
  Tags:  digg

One might think that the United States’ nuclear weapons—the cornerstone deterrent in the country’s arsenal—would be treated with the utmost precision.

This comfortable illusion was shaken on Aug. 31, 2007, when crews loaded six live nuclear warheads onto a B-52 bomber and flew from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, cruising over the nation’s heartland. Each warhead was 10 times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.

During the analysis of the incident by the Defense Science Board (DSB), released this month, the ugly truth came out: America’s nukes are so neglected that they are stored alongside conventional missiles, with nothing but an 8.5 x 11-in. sheet of paper to differentiate the two. The last day in August, Air Force personnel loaded the nuclear warheads on a routine repositioning of weapons stocks, believing them to be cruise missiles.

The system of checks and balances has degraded to a point that six of the planet’s most powerful weapons were missing for 36 hours—and no one noticed until they had landed in Louisiana. "The process and systemic problems that allowed such an incident have developed over more than a decade and have the potential for much more serious consequences," the report warns.


Life imitates Metal Gear Solid. :P
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Coinneach Fitzpatrick
  User: scarybaldguy
  Date: 2008-05-02 18:21 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I know I've posted this before, but...

Back in the late '80s and early '90s, I worked on F-16s for Uncle Sugar. It's not widely known (although not classified), but the -16 is nuclear capable. It can carry a single B57 grav nuke. Being a munitions guy, I had to learn how to handle the -57. Security during training sessions was scary: training took place in a hangar guarded by a pair of SPs at each entrace, with several more SPs inside watching every move the three-man crew made. Any deviation from the checklist would result in being slammed face-down to the concrete with a loaded AR-15 jammed in the back of one's skull at a minimum.

We took the shit serious, is what I mean to say.

This "accident" was anything but. Either the nukes were loaded through negligence, which is bad enough, or those crews knew exactly what the were doing, which is far worse.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2008-05-02 21:43 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I'm still banking on negligence. One thing the article says is that while they were supposed to be following all these different procedures, they totally blew them off.
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  User: (Anonymous)
  Date: 2008-05-02 18:40 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I recall this about the time it happened. If I remember, they proceeded to fly the craft across the US, too. I thought it'd make a bigger stink, but don't recall hearing about it again (though I didn't make a point of really keeping track of it, either).


PS dnrtfa
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  User: ohmisunao
  Date: 2008-05-02 20:29 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
This sounds like Broken Arrow.. @_o;

PS- Colonel! What happened!?!?
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2008-05-02 21:47 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
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May 2015